Trump hoarded classified documents 'as a get out of jail free card,' says Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine

Trump hoarded classified documents 'as a get out of jail free card,' says Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks to reporters on his way to a vote as lawmakers react to a mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • Sen. Tim Kaine says Trump stored classified documents as a "get out of jail free card."
  • During an interview with CNN, he said Trump needs to be held accountable.

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine on Saturday said that the reason former President Donald Trump had highly classified documents stored at his Florida estate was to later use them as leverage in any potential prosecution.

"My gut tells me the reason that Donald Trump took all this classified information—I'm on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee. I spend a lot of time in secure Senate facilities —I know what this information is like," the Virginia lawmaker told CNN. "The reason Trump took this with him to Florida was probably to try to either sell it or have it as a get out of jail free card."

"Under Biden, these secrets are safe," Kaine added. "But the DOJ effort, the FBI effort, to bring back these secrets so that Donald Trump doesn't have them and have some consequences for him for taking them with him in an unauthorized way."

"It's really important that we impose accountability for this."

His comments come after the FBI seized sensitive documents last month, some reportedly labeled "top secret," from Mar-a-Lago that Trump took with him from the White House. Court records revealed that Trump had the documents mixed with his personal items, including clothing and books.


The Department of Justice is investigating whether Trump was wrong to store government records in his home. The agency claimed that there may be more missing documents that they have yet to recover.

Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, also told CNN last month Trump would use the documents as a "bargaining chip."

"The second they would put him in handcuffs, he would turn around and say: I have the documentation showing, for example, where our nuclear launch pads are," Cohen said on the program.

"He would use it to say,' If you proceed with this, I'm telling you right now there's 20 of my loyal supporters, you don't know who they are, but we will release that information to Russia, to Iran, to whoever it might be."