Legal experts are criticizing Donald Trump, the former president after a Washington Post report on Monday revealed he had “improperly removed multiple boxes” of documents from the White House, “including letters from Barack Obama and Kim Jong Un.”
Those documents “were retrieved by the National Archives and Records Administration last month from his Mar-a-Lago residence,” and “should have been turned over to the agency, according to three people familiar with the visit.”
Trump’s advisors insist there was no “nefarious intent and said the boxes contained mementos, gifts, letters from world leaders and other correspondence.” But the Post’s report appears to disagree.
Removing the documents from the White House appears to be a violation of the Presidential Records Act, as legal and presidential experts are noting. Presidential historian Lindsay Chervinsky suggested to the Post there could be national security implications.
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance pointed to the national security issue:
With Trump, what should be shocking is merely expected: From a national security perspective..if records and documents are not disclosed, “that could pose a real concern if the next administration is flying blind without that information.” https://t.co/PAw2eTQu2M
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) February 7, 2022
National security attorney Bradley Moss, in a tweet to former Obama Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, appeared to suggest some of those documents might be classified:
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) February 7, 2022
NBC News and MSNBC Legal Contributor Katie Pfang sarcastically tweeted, “Those records weren’t in Florida for the weather.”
Attorney and SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah says, “Trump knowingly broke federal law (again) and again will not be charged.”
George Conway sarcastically mocked Trump: “I know I speak for all of you when I express my complete shock and utter incredulity at the suggestion that our fastidiously conscientious and incorruptibly virtuous former president could possibly have committed even the slightest infringement of the Presidential Records Act.”
Former SDNY U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli added: “They should also check for all WH silverware, towels, linens, furniture items, & art.”
Not a “legal expert,” but he served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs:
There is a very good chance that at least some of this material was classified – diplomatic confidential or otherwise. It is not just about Presidential Records act, but also protecting national security. https://t.co/cSGzzmwzSY
— Jon B. Wolfsthal (@JBWolfsthal) February 7, 2022
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