HUNTSVILLE – Jay Town, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama made a guest appearance Saturday on FOX News’ Fox Report with Jon Scott.
Town, who is a national security expert and vice president/general counsel for Huntsville cybersecurity experts, Gray Analytics, was asked to respond to comments made by former White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri that President Biden’s classified documents case is “peanuts” compared to former President Trump’s case.
“Are the cases comparable?” Scott asked.
“Of course, they are comparable,” Town responded. “Both Vice President Biden and President Trump are operating under the same laws Obama put in place with Executive Order 13526.”
EO 13526 outlined how classified information should be handled.
“These documents were found in multiple locations. Some of these documents were bearing Top Secret SCI markings… I guess the worst-case scenario for both is that Special Council has been appointed in both incidences to look into whether there is any criminal prosecution here.”
In the segment, Scott brought up four specific comparisons between the cases and asked for Town’s thoughts.
Town said President Biden has no claim of privilege, compared to President Trump who has claimed executive privilege.
Biden had no relevant declassification authority as VP, while Trump had absolute declassification authority; and Biden has no claim of declassification, while Trump publicly claimed declassification of all documents found at his home.
“The law as it relates to declassification authority gives the President of the United States the ability to wave a magic wand and in the dark, silently say to himself, ‘This document is declassified’,” Town said. “The Vice President of the United States is not the Commander in Chief. Unless the VP was the one who originated a specific piece of paper or document as classified, he can’t declassify it.”
He pointed to President Trump declaring he had declassified everything that was in the boxes he took home with him from the West Wing.
“He was laughed at with people complaining that was not the process,” he said. “Well, it turns out all those smart people… they were wrong,” Town said.
“No one has proven that any of the documents are still classified materials, but in August during the search at Mara Lago these same pundits were saying those documents were a serious threat to national security – that he (Trump) was selling highly classified documents to the Russians on eBay…
“We have to tamp some of that down,” Town told Jon Scott. “These are serious cases. This is very important to the republic and it’s really important to our justice system to get this one right, Jon,” Town said.
Scott asked him why lawyers for the current president would be cleaning out closets.
Town responded, “Well, lawyers need work Jon… but it is an expensive move for Two Men & A Truck,” he said, referring to the local moving company started here in Huntsville.
Town ended the segment saying he thinks President Biden realized there might be some documents located in specific areas that are marked classified, but he can’t go tell a staffer or hire somebody to find out.
“Remember, if he knows he is in possession of classified material, that’s a prong in at least two of the statutes involving the handling or mishandling of classified material.
“Having an attorney handle it, it is covered by attorney-client privilege,” he added.
Click here to watch the segment.
Don’t miss out! Subscribe today to have Alabama’s leading headlines delivered to your inbox.