Presidential Records Act is toothless. Trump used burn bags, scotch-tape. Absconded to “his safe place” with 15+ boxes, gifts from Foreign leaders, in tow PRA & FRA be damned
Does Trump have an undiagnosed mental health issue? Specifically Trump’s documented history of shoving papers in his mouth. PICA? I’m joking, sort of. I’m indulging in self care for a few days.
Spicy Sidebar I genuinely meant I was taking Feb 10th thru the 13th off. I needed a few days off (from my extracurricular Substack activities) -Given how insanely busy and stressful my past three weeks have been. And on Wednesday I delivered an outcome that both my employer & our client wanted —even knowing they likely assumed I couldn’t get the “impossible done”. I enjoy taking on an insurmountable challenge/work project. If you ever want to motivate me —just tell me I can’t do something, I’ll prove to you “oh YES I can”, In the immortal words of Yoda;
”… Do or do not there is no try…”
So when the Feb 9th public announcement came [redacted withdrawing his nomination] I told one of my bosses, “I’m taking Feb 10th thru 14th off —my family life has taken the brunt of the sacrifices” -Today I drove my kiddos to school, after I got up at 5AM or make them scratch-made almond cherry croissants ( with real Irish butter) but the ace that’s always up my sleeve; cooking my family a proper meal (spicy mango-cherry chutney with poached salmon & carnival rice)… it is amazing how the little things can be so invaluable. Which oddly found me with a lot of free time this afternoon and evening, and you, my readers are the beneficiaries of my “copious free time”
Warning this is going to be extraordinarily granular
Now let’s talk about the PRA, however fair warning this is an exceedingly long and sourced to the teeth article -and an important contextual caveat for reading materials contained herein -back in January of 2017, I am fairly certain that my third or fourth tweet ever stated in part:
…Our founding predicated the formation of our self governance largely on one consequential assumption, the occupant of 1600 Penn was of good and moral character…
…even in the face of their carefully crafted Checks and Balances, giving birth to the three co-equal branches of Government.
Trump has a long history which largely affirms the narrative that he really does think he’s about the law and our Constitution
I’ll keep repeating the this, because it really matters, it matters a lot. I think most reasonably informed person(s) would acknowledge that our Founding Father’s failure to calculate someone, so unethical as Donald J Trump would somehow ascend to the highest position within our Government;
who is a thrice married,
father of 4 anchor babies
he is of such moral disrepute, and
is a credibility accused serial sexual assault predator and harasser
There is not a single ounce of honor or ethics in Donald Trump’s fugly obese body. I’m also old enough to remember back in 2018, when Omarosa Manigault Newman was on a publicity tour promoting her book:
Again this was in 2018 The Washington Post, noted in the excerpt of her book, Newman recalls a moment that she purportedly walked in to the Oval Office (after Trump ended his meeting with Michael Cohen)
"I saw him put a note in his mouth. Since Trump was ever the germaphobe, I was shocked he appeared to be chewing and swallowing the paper. It must have been something very, very sensitive."
Shortly thereafter Michael Cohen denied this ever happened and it would be interesting to circle back and get Cohen on the record regarding his 2018 denial.
And like many of you, I too laughed it off. Notwithstanding the very large public record reflects that Donald J Trump had consistently destroyed evidence (primarily in the countless civil cases against him) —from the onset of the Trump presidency I have maintained the following:
In order to out maneuver your opponent you need to think like them and every member of Congress should have read his “art of the deal”
Trump has a long documented history of destroying evidence
Trump has an equally long record of behaving that he genuinely believes he’s above the law.
Here’s what some of you might not know, back in 2016 the Washington Post 2016 published a 407 document tranche and yes of course I read every single page. It occurred to me that many of my readers might be unaware of the thousands of pages of legal documents, affidavits, depositions —all of which I used to better inform my readers. But the current news cycle about “Trump flushing documents”
MAKE. IT. STOP…
Come on it’s not that hard to understand that today’s narrative/news cycle is coming from Maggie Haberman. And she’s currently hawking the publication of her new book, which is expected to be released in a few months ...I find it to be an absolute journalistic failure when reporters decided to hold back important factual information from the American people. Withholding facts, only to later use those facts to grossly enrich themselves once a lucrative book deal is signed. Maggie Habberman February 11, 2022 appearance on CNN -to be candid her defensive posture that she isn’t holding back important facts. You can read more here, which includes excerpts of today’s interview. Her remarks come off as disingenuous, at best or at worse; she’s actively manipulating the narrative to make her look good.
In short any real/serious journalist have an obligation to inform the American people with facts. But when a reporter purposefully withholds countless facts or attempts to “trust wash their behavior” because they are rightfully being scrutinized and criticized, because (again) they are currently working on a book. That kind of lack of journalistic integrity is offensive. Equally so is her ongoing gaslighting.
Frankly I don’t think Habbeeman’s “Trump flushed documents and it clogged up the plumbing in the White House” is what we should focus on. Conversely if you’re amplifying Haberman’s propaganda, then I can’t help you. What I can do is try to help you understand both the Presidential Records Act (PRA) & Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014
The goal of this article is to fully explain the nuances of those laws and what (if any) criminal implications Trump should/could face. Spoiler Alert: if you think that Trump is going to go to jail for violating the PRA, then I regret to inform you that the rest of this article will likely make your head explode with rage. And for that I’m deeply sorry but I can’t take the disinformation and misinformation about the PRA and FRA. Facts matter, right?
Generally speaking the PRA and FRA offer pretty specific timetables which dictates the public’s access to a former President’s records. This is typically predicated based on how many years since the end of XYZ Presidency. For Example:
Less than five years out, no public access is granted due to the Archivist’s processing of the records.
Between five and 12 years out, the Archivist determines PRA restrictions with the former President in accordance with Title 44, Section 2204, of the U.S. Code.
After 12 years, these PRA restrictions no longer apply
Important though at the very end of the Trump Administration he actually extended the statutorily required time-frame to be “in perpetuity” and that’s one incontrovertible fact that I genuinely wished the mainstream media would accurately report. Because it matters, a lot. Probably more than I actually know.
Moreover while the public release of a former President’s records is generally limited to 12 years, there’s a very important carve out contained within the PRA see 44 U.S.C. §2205(2)(B)(C)
In the plain text of the PRA -it absolutely permits “either house of Congress, committees, or subcommittees requesting information for chamber or committee business to be granted special access to the former President’s records….” But one historical fact (that’s being largely overlooked) prior to the Nixon Administration presidential records were the property of the president. (and yes, I’m aware that I’m repeating myself ad nauseam) The PRA in concert with the FRA made a very clear distinction, that Presidential Records are the property of the United States. In 2019 the National Archivist published guidance on Presidential Records. Below is an info-sheet that details timelines and covered documents
Post Nixon Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act (PRA) 44 U.S.C. §§2201-2207
“to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of the President’s constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented and that such records are preserved and maintained.”
Not to belabor this point; Post-Nixon the PRA fundamentally states records do not belong to former president (Trump). The Presidential Records Act unquestionably designated that the Presidential Records are not the personal property of the outgoing President. Again those records belong to the United States of America and more broadly the American people. That distinction runs counter to how Trump (falsely) believes, that those records “are his personal property” - THEY ARE NOT HIS PROPERTY -those records are the Property of the United States of America, and ultimately belong to “we the people”…the National Archives is the statutory custodian of those records.
Now, ask yourself why or what caused Congress codify the PRA? Here’s the very short primer, the catalyst for Congress to create new legislation was Watergate. Until the codification of the PRA, nearly all presidential documents were considered the “personal property” of the out going president.
Meaning history affirms that prior to Nixon some presidents (and/or the family) would sell the Presidential documents for profit. Coupled with the damning testimony of former Nixon Administration officials, which includes some of the top aides/advisers of president Nixon. Keep in mind president Nixon also litigated all the way to the US Supreme Court and he lost (remember last month I walked you through the recent SCOTUS ruling and I’m pretty confident since the inception of Trump vexatious litigation concerning his administration’s records I forecasted that SCOTUS would reject Trump’s arguments, they did and you can read more on that SCOTUS ruling here
§ 2201. Definitions
§ 2202. Ownership of Presidential records
§ 2203. Management and custody of Presidential records
§ 2204. Restrictions on access to Presidential records
§ 2205. Exceptions to restricted access - 2205. Exceptions to restricted access -Notwithstanding any restrictions on access imposed pursuant to sections 2204 and 2208 of this title—
(1) the Archivist and persons employed by the National Archives and Records Administration who are engaged in the performance of normal archival work shall be permitted access to Presidential records in the custody of the Archivist;
(2) subject to any rights, defenses, or privileges which the United States or any agency or person may invoke, Presidential records shall be made available—
(A) pursuant to subpoena or other judicial process issued by a court of competent jurisdiction for the purposes of any civil or criminal investigation or proceeding;
(B) to an incumbent President if such records contain information that is needed for the conduct of current business of the incumbent President's office and that is not otherwise available; and
(C) to either House of Congress, or, to the extent of matter within its jurisdiction, to any committee or subcommittee thereof if such records contain
§ 2206. Regulations
§ 2207. Vice-Presidential records
§ Note. Rule of Construction
§ 2208. Claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure
§ 2209. Disclosure requirement for official business conducted using non-official electronic messaging accounts
Penalties for violating the PRA:
I can not emphasize the importance of the following paragraphs. The PRA expressly provides that the record-keeping requirements are enforceable through “administrative sanctions” and includes suspension and removal from employment (44 U.S.C. § 2209(b)) -but there’s zero mention of prison and that’s really important, the PRA Penalties reads in part:
Violations of the PRA -the penalty via “administrative sanctions”
(b) Adverse Actions - The intentional violation of subsection (a) by a covered employee (including any rules, regulations, or other implementing guidelines), as determined by the appropriate supervisor, shall be a basis for disciplinary action in accordance with subchapter I, II, or V of chapter 75 of title 5, as the case may be.
There are also other specific criminal prohibitions against destroying records relevant to congressional or federal investigations and/or mishandling of government documents. I’m specifically referring to clearly marked “secret and top secret” and I would strongly recommend that you read the Exclusive reporting by the Washington Post which reported that some of the documents were clearly marked as “classified” -not to be the antagonist but if you think the DOJ is going to indict Trump for mishandling “classified, secret and top secret” documents.
I regret to inform you that is highly unlikely. Why? Well the President of the United States is vested with the authority to declassify documents. Meaning I can see that Trump would argue; this power is vested with the President. “It was perfect. A perfect call. I’m perfect” —I can’t contemplate what caused Trump to believe he is above the law. He has always conducted himself like this. And I can see Trump arguing “oh my bad I didn’t tell you that I de-classified XYZ documents.” Because of Trump’s (largely successful) penchant to exploit loopholes in our laws to his betterment. However below are two statutes that include the penalty for the mishandling of documents:
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, individuals who destroy records to impede or influence a congressional investigation or proceeding before any U.S. agency may be fined or subject to imprisonment for up to five years.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1519, individuals who destroy records to impede or influence an actual or contemplated investigation under the jurisdiction of any U.S. agency may be fined or subject to imprisonment of up to 20 years (United States v. Katakis, 800 F.3d 1017, 1023 (9th Cir. 2015).
I’ m going to say the quite part out loud:
…at the very beginning of this article I expounded on the flaw our Founding Fathers failed to calculate. I’m confident our Founding Fathers inherently assumed the American Electorate would not elect someone who lacked both a moral and ethical compass. Again I genuinely think our Founding Fathers made this assumption. And surely we would never let someone like Donald J Trump to become the President of the United States.
The glaring flaw in that assumption is our Founding Fathers almost solely relied upon an “ethical president” and Trump is the antithesis of ethical. Here’s why that matters, laws like the Hatch Act, which exempt the POTUS & VPOTUS (must I remind you of KellyAnne Conway, find read more here) and the PRA largely relies upon the “honor system”…
That becomes devastatingly problematic when you have someone like Trump who has zero honor and spectacularly debased the Office of POTUS and that’s how “things” become increasingly problematic…
And yes the Washington Post published the following article on February 10, 2022 and the opening paragraph is certainly interesting. It reads in part:
The National Archives and Records Administration has asked the Justice Department to examine Donald Trump’s handling of White House records, sparking discussions among federal law enforcement officials about whether they should investigate the former president for a possible crime, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The Purpose of the PRA & FRA, a deeper dive:
The PRA unequivocally established the public ownership of a former Administration’s records. These records were which are created by Presidents and their staff. Additionally the PRA also articulates the various procedures for both congressional and public access to presidential and vice presidential information. The PRA further details both the preservation and public availability of such records at the of the outgoing president & their staff. This isn’t an opinion, these are the facts and a plain reading of the actual law, which reads in part:
“to assure that the activities, deliberations, decisions, and policies that reflect the performance of the President’s constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties are adequately documented and that such records are preserved and maintained.”
Purpose of Federal Records Act (FRA) amended 2014:
This is pretty important, so please pay close attention, while the vast majority of the mainstream media has exclusively focused on the PRA -it’s a bit confounding that the media has largely been silent on the Federal Records Act amended 2014 (FRA). In non legalese or DC talk; the PRA & FRA are viewed together because they are intertwined. Specifically the FRA addresses the electronic presidential records 1
While the FRA doesn’t expressly prohibit the use of Encrypted Chat Applications like WhatsApp, Telegram and/or Single -the FRA requires that Federal Employees must transfer any and all communications( which also includes meta data) via the encrypted app to a designated White House server for preservation of those records
The emergence and widespread governmental adoption of digital technologies that create information subject to the retention and preservation requirements of the Federal Records Act (FRA; 44 U.S.C. Chapters 21, 29, 31, and 33), as amended, and the Presidential Records Act (PRA; 44 U.S.C. §§2201-2209), as amended, may be of interest to Congress, officials charged with maintaining government records, and the public.
CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON (CREW)
As previously referenced (in the above paragraph) CREW sued the Trump Administration numerous times concerning the PRA and FRA - most recently on December 1, 2021 CREW and NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE filed a lawsuit (found here) -as noted lest we forget the private email server and WhatsApp issues where Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump repeatedly ignored and violated the PRA and FRA. Because Kushner’s reliance on WhatsApp was incredibly problematic. Especially regarding National Security Issues.
Jan 28, 2021 MINUTE ORDER. Plaintiffs in this action seek declaratory, injunctive, and mandamus relief for alleged violations of the Presidential Records Act by various members of the Trump administration as well as injunctive relief for an alleged violation of the Administrative Procedure Act by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Given the recent change in administration, it is hereby ORDERED that, on or before 2/11/21, Plaintiffs shall file a notice informing the Court which counts in the complaint, if any, have become moot. If Plaintiffs seek to amend their complaint in light of recent developments, they shall file a motion requesting leave to amend their complaint on or before 2/11/21. Signed by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on 1/28/2021
NOTICE in response to Jan. 28, 2021 Minute Order by AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ARCHIVE, SOCIETY FOR HISTORIANS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN RELATIONS
In the aforementioned February 11, 2021 filing -CREW disclosed, the Biden Administration rescinded the Trump Administration’s Memorandum/Guidelines for EOP employees using encrypted messaging apps. That as a standard practice the Biden Administration issued a new guidance regarding encrypted messaging apps. Accordingly the National Archivist also informed Plaintiffs CREW et al that the NARA was able to fully download EOP employees use of the encrypted messaging apps. And thus the Plaintiffs moved to voluntarily dismiss their complaint —largely because the five counts became moot..
What Are Presidential Records?
Again the PRA is very clear what constitutes Presidential Records… the relevant subsection, which reads in part:
“Presidential records” are broadly defined as “documentary materials . . . created or received by the President, the President’s immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise or assist the President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President.” Presidential records include material in both paper and electronic form.
Who does the PRA apply to the following Executive Office of the President (“EOP”) entities:
Both the Presidential Records Act and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014, have promulgated that presidential records of the outgoing administration are to be are assessed for;
preservation not by the multi-media used to store records but rather by the content of the information itself.
Congress is vested with the power and authority to question both the volume and completeness of the former Administration’s records
The PRA also requires the NARA to make timely determination(s) by the NARA to make the former administration’s records available for the public “as rapidly and completely as possible”
The Trump Administration and the PRA & FRA
It’s not my place to question the public reporting but what concerns me is some media organizations are insinuating that “Trump didn’t mean” to break the law. So I suppose it’s time for me to provide some rock solid (largely publicly available receipts that should eviscerate that false narrative. Because the “Trump didn’t know” or “Trump didn’t personally direct” counter arguments are nothing more than attempts to change the narrative. The whole “I didn’t know” is not nor has it ever been an affirmative defense.
“this was an honest mistake because White House staffers were too distracted …by Trump attempting to overthrow the United States government.
Unless otherwise specified all links below come from the National Archives (again publicly available documents, provided you know where to look and what to look for)
See February 2017 Memo to all Trump White House Staff concerning the importance of the PRA, via this national archives link (oh look there’s STEFAN C. PASSANTINO once again you can read my recent Feb 7th article on James O’Keffe & the purported Biden dairy, found here)
See February 16, 2017 White House letter to NARA naming designees of Trump White House Documents via this NARA Link notice who Trump designated- why yes the same Stefan Passantino
See March 7, 2017 - Letter from Senators McCaskill and Carper to Archivist David S. Ferriero concerning the Trump Administration and the PRA
See March 30, 2017 - Archivist response to Sens. McCaskill and Carper previous letter/inquiry
See October 2, 2017 Internal Emails from the White House Counsel’s office -reminding staffers of their PRA compliance via this NARA link
See October 2, 2017 White House email: Compliance Reminder; PRA
See January 18, 2018 - American Oversight letter: Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and potential alienation of records
See January 23, 2018 - NARA response letter to American Oversight: Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and potential alienation of records
Again the Defense of saying “Trump didn’t know” strains credulity because as noted —the National Archives documents (embedded above) Trump was absolutely aware of his statutory obligations. There’s no fuzz here, none. Trump and his Staffers absolutely knew their obligations, they choose to repeatedly ignore them. The level of absolute lawlessness in the Trump Administration is indicative of Trump’s disdain for our laws and the general societal rules of order.
I could only locate one Criminal Case - USA v Berger
Based on preliminary research I can only identify one occurrence of someone being charged and ultimately plead guilty to one count… I ran dozens of LexisNexis and WestLaw searches. And I mean dozens of searches. also it is important to note that Sandy Bergen’s unauthorized removal and destruction of at least one classified document occurred after the NARA became the lawful custodian of the Clinton Administration records.
Specifically Berger removed (and destroyed (at least one classified documents) of the batch of documents he impressionably purloined from the NARA. That distinction is somewhat important given to date I have been unable to locate any other criminal case concerning the PRA.
see the April 1, 2005 DOJ-OPA Press Release, which reads in part (also take note of the first sentence: Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray of the Criminal Division.. symmetry and irony collide)
Berger was reviewing classified documents at the National Archives in July, September and October of 2003 in connection with requests for documents made by the National Commission Investigating Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9-11 Commission).
September 2, 2003, and again on October 2nd, Berger concealed and removed a total of five copies of classified documents from the Archives.. knew he was not authorized to remove the classified documents from the Archives.
Berger took the documents to his office… where he destroyed three of the copies. Soon after the October visit, the Archives discovered that documents were missing and, two days later, contacted Berger.
Berger did not tell the Archives staff that he had taken the documents but later that night told Archives staff that he had “accidentally misfiled” two of them. The next day, he returned to Archives staff the two remaining copies of the five documents he had taken during the September and October visits. Each of the five copies of the document was produced to the 9-11 Commission in due course.
In his plea, Berger also admitted that he concealed and removed his handwritten notes from the Archives prior to a classification review, in violation of Archives rules and procedures. Those notes have been returned to the government.
Underlying Court Filings regarding Samuel “Sandy” Berger…
Again it should be noted that Berger wasn’t charged with violating the PRA he was charged with mishandling classified documents. I’ve run numerous LexisNexis and WestLaw searches and thus far I’ve come up empty with any previous prosecution of a person violating the PRA.
Mar 31, 2005 INFORMATION in violation of 18:1924 as to SAMUEL R. BERGER (1) count(s) see DDC-ECF
Apr 1, 2005 PLEA AGREEMENT as to SAMUEL R. BERGER
Apr 1, 2005 FACTUAL PROFFER by SAMUEL R. BERGER. See DDC-ECF
Sep 13, 2005 JUDGMENT as to SAMUEL R. BERGER (1), Count(s) -see DDC-ECF
Sentence: 2 years Supervised Probation; Special Condition:
Fine and Supervision Cost $56,905.52; Assessment Cost $25.00 to be Paid by the close of business 9/9/05;
100 hours of Community Service;
No access to Classified Material for a period of 3 years
Again you can pull down the 2005 Berger case from my Scribd account in addition you can read the 2007 House of Representatives from my Scribd account and I would also recommend you read this 2002 GAO Report/Summary regarding Sandy Berger: https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-02-360.pdf
The New York Times overt bias Clinton’s emails:
In December of 2017 Vox published an article examining the mainstream media coverage of the Clinton-Private Email Server — the data, research and analysis is incredibly detailed and it affirms what many of us probably suspected… which is disappointing because the New York Times really does have incredible reporters, but what Maggie Habberman and Ken Vogel did to Stephanie Winston Wolkoff (see this long forgotten December 2020 archived Twitter thread, which was a supplemental thread to this September 2020 archived twitter thread and you can read the entire unrolled thread here)
The researchers found that the Times devoted much more online and print real estate to the campaign horse race and personal scandals for both candidates than it did to their policies on topics such as health care and taxes.
As Vox’s Matt Yglesias wrote last November, before the election:
Network newscasts have, remarkably, dedicated more airtime to coverage of Clinton’s emails than to all policy issues combined.
Cable news has been, if anything, worse, and many prestige outlets have joined the pileup. One malign result of obsessive email coverage is that the public is left totally unaware of the policy stakes in the election. Another is that the constant vague recitations of the phrase ‘‘Clinton email scandal’’ have firmly implanted the notion that there is something scandalous about anything involving Hillary Clinton and email, including her campaign manager getting hacked or the revelation that one of her aides sometimes checked mail on her husband’s computer.
I never want to hear about Clinton’s emails…
Because in classic Trump form he was telegraphing his intent should he become president. Accusing others of what he would do. The hypocrisy here is on a new stratosphere…and as previously mentioned the New York Times was obsessed over Clinton’s emails. And the very same purveyor of “normalizing the not normal” Maggie Habberman’s long documented history of; down playing Trump’s egregious actions, either wittingly or unwittingly amplifying Trump’s talking points and her unprecedented access to Trump—whispers Jared & Ivanka have Maggie on speed dial and repeatedly leaked to her - but it wasn’t until I reread the December 2017 Vox article only then did it hit me - the New York Times spent years trying to normalize Trump…
House Oversight Committee coming in hot…
As many of you might be aware, (see House Oversight Committee Press Release) Chairwoman Maloney sent the following letter to David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States. Her Committee has now formally initiated an investigation and her letter is seeking additional information concerning the 15 boxes of presidential records that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently recovered these boxes from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. The Committee is also concerned about as new reports that Trump either attempted or did in fact destroy presidential records, which is prohibited by the PRA.
On February 5, 2022, it was reported that while in office, former President Trump “tore up briefings and schedules, articles and letters, memos both sensitive and mundane…Trump and his senior advisors must also be held accountable for any violations of the law,”
…Republicans in Congress obsessively investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server for official communications. Former President Trump’s conduct, in contrast, involves a former president potentially violating a criminal law by intentionally removing records, including communications with a foreign leader, from the White House and reportedly attempting to destroy records by tearing them up.”
Pursuant to the February 10, 2022 letter, the Chairwoman has now requested the “NARA provide information regarding the agency’s communications with the representatives of former President Trump about the missing boxes, the contents of the boxes, and more by February 18, 2022.”
And with the February 10, 2022 Exclusive Washington Post Article -I find the following paragraph rather interesting because
It is not precisely clear who packed up the classified materials at Mar-A-Largo, or how they got there in the first place…
And honestly I think the better question is, how did the National Archives know that Trump had impermissibly taken those boxes to Mar-a-Largo? While that might be a pretty simple question. It appears on February 8, 2022 the National Archives issued a statement concerning the 15 boxes of records, which reads in part:
“Throughout the course of the last year, NARA obtained the cooperation of Trump representatives to locate Presidential records that had not been transferred to the National Archives at the end of the Trump administration," wrote the Archives in a statement to Newsweek
Did the National Archives “raid” Mar-a-Largo or not?
However it’s the very next paragraph in the NewsWeek article that stopped me cold in my tracks - to me (and I could be reading the following portion of the February 8, 2022 of the NARA’s statement incorrectly but I don’t think I am) which reads in part:
“When a representative informed NARA in December 2021 that they located some records, NARA arranged for them to be securely transported to Washington. NARA officials did not visit or "raid" the Mar-a-Lago property."
Because that latter portion of the National Archive’s statement certainly reads that no such “raid” took place at Mar-a-Largo…
But back to the newly released House Oversighr’s February 10, 2022 letter, you really should pay very close attention to pages 2 & 3 of the House OverSight Committee’s letter to the National Archivist…
Summary of Trump & the PRA & FRA…
When I say the PRA is largely a toothless statue, that’s not me trying to make something out of nothing. The PRA literally has zero teeth and it almost exclusively relies upon the out going President will voluntarily comply with the PRA & FRA.
One compromise would be Congress should either amend the PRA and FRA to attach severe penalties.
Or Congress should enact NEW legislation that would withhold a significant amount of Congressional Appropriations, specifically the post Presidency stipend and other financial benefits,
In 1958 the Former Presidents Act, was enacted. The FPA provides that former presidents are entitled to various financial benefits (largely funded by “we the people0, which includes; a pension and funds for travel, office space, and personal staff.
Again I’m sorry if this article is not what you wanted it to be
“Trump’s going to be indicted for his egregious violations of the PRA and FRA”
But my readers put a lot of trust in me and my research. And that’s not something I take for granted. To be clear I vacillated do I publish or do I not publish an article. But I continued to observe a lot of disinformation and misinformation regarding the PRA and the FRA. I thought it would be both educational and the right thing to do by helping my readers understand what the PRA & the FRA state with respect to penalties.
On February 1, 2022 , exactly ten days ago the National Archivist took an extraordinary step by confirming what millions of us have long suspected, in their statement to NBC News - which reads in part:
“Some of the Trump presidential records received by the National Archives and Records Administration included paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump,” the agency said in a statement to NBC News. "As has been reported in the press since 2018, White House records management officials during the Trump administration recovered and taped together some of the torn-up records," a reference to reports that Trump habitually ripped up documents and threw them away after reading them.
And of course your prerequisite dose of salt water therapy
..and with that I bid you goodbye. I’ll see you on or about February 13, 2022 -again I don’t want my loyal readers to freak out over my self imposed absence. Remember that if I go dark for a few days, I eventually pop back up and a vast majority of the time I come back with a stuffed accordion file.
Be Well. Be Informed and I’ll be back in a few days -Filey
See June 22, 2017 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive (NSA). Press Release - last accessed on February 8, 2022 https://www.citizensforethics.org/news/press-releases/crew-sues-president-trump-presidential-records/