Is It Against the Law to Remove Classified Documents from The White House? Part 1

Is It Against the Law to Remove Classified Documents from The White House? Part 1

By U.S. government – Public Domain

Before you read the article, please remember the impeachment of Nixon. They had tapes to fall back on to help convince him to leave office rather than face criminal charges, which would have devastating consequences for him because of John Deans’ testimony to Congress. Please don’t attack the messenger. I’m only reporting what is being said. Let’s get the conversation started.

In part 1, I’m going back to when this all began. Part 2 of this article series will look at the present-day of “Is It Against the Law to Remove Classified Documents from The White House? Part 1” Please take a moment and read the entire article.

Donald Trump is facing mounting legal and political pressure over an FBI raid on his Florida home amid a probe of whether he took classified documents from the White House when he left office, casting a cloud over his potential presidential run in 2024. According to people familiar with the matter, the FBI has searched former President Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago estate to investigate whether former President Donald Trump took classified records out of the White House to his Florida residence.

Classified information was found in 15 boxes of White House records stored at former President Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago residence, the National Archives and Records Administration said. Donald Trump’s office did not indicate the basis of the search. A letter is confirming it had forwarded the matter to the Justice Department on Friday. Still, the Democratic-led Justice Department has been investigating potential mishandling of classified information since the National Archives and Records Administration said early this year that it had recovered 15 boxes of records containing classified information at Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago residence.

The search circumstances were not immediately precise, though the Justice Department has been actively investigating whether classified information was found in boxes of records taken from Trump’s Florida residence after he left the White House. After he left the White House, boxes of documents were taken from Trump’s Florida residence.

In February, the National Archives and Records Administration requested the Justice Department look into whether Trump’s handling of White House records violated federal law, a story first reported by The Washington Post and then confirmed by sources on NBC News. The Justice Department declined to comment on the allegations. Still, one person familiar with the search said it began in the morning, continued after 6 p.m., and involved the possible mishandling of records. Former President Donald Trump’s allies immediately sought to frame the search as part of a Democratic-led effort to block his bid for another term in 2024.

The investigation of Trump’s handling of presidential records has been bubbling over for months, mainly on the back burner. Donald Trump’s years-long flouting of the Presidential Records Act requires memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes, and other written communications related to a president’s official duties, along with other unusual record-keeping practices, has long drawn scrutiny. However, the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge and that Christopher Wray, the current FBI director, was appointed by Trump five years ago and served as the top ranking official in the Republican-led Justice Department. At the same time, the Jan. 6 special counsel built a case that the former President committed crimes to disrupt a transition of power after he lost the 2020 election.

The FBI conducted searches and records searches at the Trump residence as part of its ongoing investigation into the possibly unlawful purging and destruction of classified White House records by Trump since leaving office in January 2021. Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani noted the raid was probably conducted by agents involved only in searching documents destined for the National Archives. If evidence emerged from the attack revealing Trump’s involvement in the Capitol unrest, that certainly would have been part of the Jan. 6 investigation, former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani added.

During a meeting at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, Trump’s attorney, Christine Bubb, showed federal investigators documents she had stored on the property, including some marked classified, CNN noted. Just hours before agents were scheduled to begin searching Mar-a-Lago, FBI officials told Secret Service about the Bureau’s plans to execute a search warrant, according to a Secret Service official.

The law enforcement moves at Mar-a-Lago came as lawyers and other observers prepared for the actions that would come this month in the politically sensitive Justice Department probe, as prosecutors neared the traditionally quiet period in these investigations ahead of elections. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., was raided by the FBI on Monday as part of an inquiry into whether he took classified documents with him when he left the presidential office.

Some of the White House documents taken improperly to Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago estate are classified, including documents at the top level of the Secret Service, according to two people familiar with the matter. An added wrinkle in questions swirling over Donald Trump’s records is that, as President, Trump frequently stayed in his Mar-a-Lago residence and handled classified documents while there, meaning that in some instances, it could be hard to establish the chain of custody of specific classified documents. The power to declassify ends after Trump leaves office, and it is unclear whether he declassified any records held at Mar-a-Lago while still in office.

While in office, he had declassification powers, making his own decisions. As a former American official, Trump was also responsible for continuing the responsibility of protecting classified information Trump received while he was President. Former President Donald Trump took classified information with him into his Florida home when he left the White House, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration said on Friday in a letter to Congress about 15 boxes of documents it had recently recovered. The investigations also include a federal grand jury in Washington investigating efforts by Donald Trump and his inner circle to set up fake electors and pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to flip the 2020 election; an investigation of potential violations of Georgia state laws related to his efforts to reverse election results there; and a civil investigation of Trump’s financial affairs.

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6 thoughts on “Is It Against the Law to Remove Classified Documents from The White House? Part 1

  1. Brian McMorris August 14, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    You have no idea what you are saying. The situation with Nixon was completely different than Trump. First, the documents in question were obtained through theft. They did belong to the President as is the case with the docs Trump took with him. Second, Nixon attempted to destroy the documents while Trump has done nothing of the sort. Third, if Trump declared the docs as declassified, which he can do without any question as he is the ultimate decision maker on matters of national security, then no “classified documents” were removed from the White House, despite what liberals contend. Several Constitutional lawyers, former Asst AGs, are already on the record acknowledging this. It may go to the Supreme Court if Democrats maintain Trump does not have that authority and they will lose. At that point, AG Garland will be impeached for abuse of power.

    Reply
    1. michael Cavalier August 16, 2022 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you for your comment Brian. I tend to agree with you. I am only putting out there what is being said. I look forward to more comments from you.

      Reply
    2. ALEXANDER N TURNBULL September 1, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      According to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, a President at the time of leaving office, must automatically turn all Presidential records over to the National Archives. BTW, I am conservative and voted for Trump, but, in my opinion, I believe his handling of this matter has been more than sloppy. I add that there are other recent figures in high capacities with the Federal Government who have been extremely cavalier about handling classified data, But Trump was the President. The above expresses my opinions and no more.

      Reply
      1. michael Cavalier September 1, 2022 at 5:03 pm

        Your account of the 1978 Records Act stands for itself. I agree with you on this matter. I, too, am a Republican who, like yourself, loves this country. We must all, as Republicans, conservatives, and Moderate Republicans, come together and talk about our differences as one (1) if we are to take the house and get the Majority of the Senate to stop Democrats from continuing to introduce Socialism even further. Thank you for your opinion, and please, do share this link with others and encourage them to follow Our Nation Stands.

        Reply
  2. Dana Dickson August 9, 2022 at 1:21 pm

    The thing is brother is that he can claim he declassified all the documents. I don’t know if there is a special process for that or if there needs to be certain things done to make them declassified. But if there isn’t then all he has to do is say yes I declassified all of it.
    It happens all the time in Government. People bring home classified documents. Funny how Hillary wasn’t prosecuted for having all those classifieds emails at her home or on the private server she bleached.
    They’ll do anything to disqualify him from running for office again.

    Reply
    1. michael Cavalier August 9, 2022 at 2:21 pm

      I agree, Brother. This is why Republicans need to come out and vote in the mid-terms. Democrats must lose the house and the Senate, but I’ll take the House. Republicans have a better chance there.

      Reply

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