One of the key components that has been brought up is there should still be a paper trail if T did move to declassify any of these documents. Especially the alleged nuclear secrets document(s). That is not something that he can just wave his magic sharpie over.\n\nIt seems to me that a lot of the commentary in the media conflates a president’s power to declassify documents with the process for declassifying documents. In other words, if a president fails to follow the procedures, does this automatically mean that the documents are not declassified? I’m not aware of any cases directly on point but I’d be interested in any cases others might be aware of.\n\nThis power vs process also needs to be separated from the issue of proving that declassification actually occurred. In other words, if (big “if”) a court were to hold that declassification could have occurred even if the normal process was not followed, could Trump’s lawyers introduce enough evidence to convince s jury that there is reasonable doubt concerning whether or not the documents had been declassified?\n\nBut, again, if the DOJ were to only bring charges under the three laws listed in the search warrant it wouldn’t really matter if the documents had been declassified or not. The government would not be required to show that the documents were classified.