As president, Trump approved a law increasing penalties for mishandling classified info. It could come back to bite him.

President Donald Trump signed into law national security legislation Jan. 10, 2018, providing for tougher penalties for the misuse of classified information.Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images
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Trump signed a sweeping national security law into law in 2018.
The bill increased penalties for those who mishandle classified information.
The measure is notable in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid on government documents.
A bill that former President Donald Trump signed into law in 2018 could be used to punish him if he is found to have mishandled classified information after leaving office.
FBI agents Monday raided Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida as part of an investigation into whether Trump mistakenly kept classified material after leaving office.
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Bradley P. Moss, a national security attorney, told Insider that Trump could face five years in prison if found guilty under a national security bill he signed into law as president.
The law, which made changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), was signed into law by Trump in January 2018.
It increased the severity of mismoving classified material, turning it from a misdemeanor to a felony - and increasing the maximum sentence from one year to five.
Moss noted that it was passed after Trump's relentless attacks on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign for alleged misuse of classified information.
But now Trump is under pressure.
"Trump certainly has legal influence on Section 1924 because it involved classified documents from his White House rooms that were brought to Mar-Lago," Moss said.
In a tweet Tuesday after the FBI raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, Jeff Yarbro, an attorney and Democratic senator in Tennessee, pointed out that it was Trump who signed the law now looming over him .
The National Archives and Records Administration said in February classified material was found among boxes of things brought to Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House.
Then-legal analyst Glenn Kirchner told MSNBC that the former president faced a potential "five-year felony" in what appeared to be a reference to the law that Trump tightened in 2018.
— Jeff Yarbro (@yarbro) August 9, 2022
At the time, the classified measures attracted little attention, with the focus of reporting being the renewal of broad surveillance powers in the draft law.
According to an analysis by Moss and other analysts on the Just Security blog, it's one of several laws Trump might have broken if he was found to have mishandled classified material.
There is some doubt whether the law signed by Trump can be used for law enforcement, Moss said, as it is unclear whether it applies to former presidents.
Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in this regard, saying he fully cooperated with inquiries from the National Archives and has called the raid politically motivated.
His assistant, Kash Patel, told Breitbart that Trump declassified the footage before leaving office under the president's sweeping powers to decide what should remain secret.
Moss said "efforts by Trump to release records before leaving office" are another key issue that could affect whether the law enforcement actions could be used by Trump.
Trump's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Read the original article on Business Insider
donald trump
45th President of the United States

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