Documents ripped up, stuffed down the bathroom or carted off to Florida — the record of former US chief Donald Trump’s alleged flouting of legal guidelines on preserving presidential papers grew longer and more odd Thursday.
Trump’s shredding of many beforehand accepted norms of presidential decorum was a part of his populist attraction to Republican supporters. But now the National Archives, which is in control of preserving presidential data, reportedly needs Trump investigated over, amongst different issues, his behavior of actually tearing up White House papers whereas in workplace.
According to The Washington Post, the Archives requested the Justice Department open a probe into Trump’s practices. This got here after the federal government data workplace confirmed Monday that it had recovered 15 containers of paperwork from Trump’s Florida property, taken with him when he left Washington following his reelection defeat.
According to a report in The Washington Post on Thursday, citing nameless sources, these paperwork included extremely categorized paperwork marked prime secret and meant just for a small variety of folks with the required clearance. Also reportedly within the pile of White House supplies taken to the Mar-a-Lago complicated was official correspondence with North Korea’s chief Kim Jong Un — “love letters,” as Trump described them on the time. letter outgoing president Barack Obama had left for Trump within the Oval Office.
Last week, the Archives confirmed experiences that Trump had torn up paperwork, a few of which have since been taped again collectively.
Under the 1978 Presidential Records Act (PRA), which was handed within the wake of the Watergate scandal, US presidents are required to switch all emails, letters and different work paperwork to the National Archives. Trump denies any wrongdoing. In a press release Thursday, he characterised his dealings with the Archives as “without conflict and on a very friendly basis.”
“The media’s characterization of my relationship with NARA (National Archives) is Fake News. It was exactly the opposite! It was a great honor to work with NARA to help formally preserve the Trump Legacy.”
Down the toilet
But on Thursday, a new twist developed. A new book on Trump’s time in office claims that a White House toilet would jam after attempts to flush away office papers, Axios reported.
The upcoming book “Confidence Man,” by New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman, says that “staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper,” in keeping with an unique preview by Axios.
The book, based in part on Haberman’s post-presidential interviews with Trump, reports that the Republican has told people he remains in touch with North Korea’s Kim.
Trump likewise denied the toilet story.
“Also, another fake story, that I flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet, is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book,” he wrote.
Haberman’s book is set to be published October 4. The veteran Times journalist has been on the Trump beat for a decade and long had unrivaled access among journalists to the property tycoon-turned-politician’s inner circle.
The controversy is gaining traction in the Democratic-controlled Congress, where a special committee investigating the January 6, 2020 assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters is struggling to obtain the ex-president’s records.
On Thursday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in Congress announced it was opening its own investigation into the wandering records.
“I am deeply concerned,” committee chairwoman, Representative Carolyn Maloney, stated. “I am also concerned by recent reports that while in office, President Trump repeatedly attempted to destroy presidential records, which could constitute additional serious violations.”