Donald Trump attempted to play the whataboutism game this week in response to the FBI searching for classified documents he illegally took with him to Mar-a-Lago after he left the White House, only for the National Archives to shut down his lies.
The FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Florida compound earlier this week and found boxes of documents. Not only did Trump reportedly take classified nuclear weapons documents, but also signals intelligence that could have been used to extort foreign leaders. It’s a serious breach of national security that violates the Espionage Act and the Presidential Records Act. Trump even faces obstruction charges.
In response, Trump released a statement falsely claiming that former President Barack Obama also illegally took classified documents with him after leaving office in January 2017.
“What happened to the 30 million pages of documents taken from the White House to Chicago by Barack Hussein Obama?” Trump wrote on his pathetic social media platform. “He refused to give them back! What is going on? This act was strongly at odds with NARA. Will they be breaking into Obama’s ‘mansion’ in Martha’s Vineyard?”
Trump went on to double down.
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” he said.
As usual, Trump offered zero proof to substantiate his allegations, which frankly should result in a defamation lawsuit from Obama considering Trump just falsely accused him of espionage and theft.
Further cementing the falsehood of Trump’s claims, the National Archives released a strong statement noting that Obama did not take any documents with him. In fact, the National Archives moved unclassified documents to one of their facilities in Chicago in preparation for Obama’s presidential library. Classified records are still in Washington DC. None of the records are in Obama’s direct possession.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA). NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.
Trump’s lawyer really should advise him to keep his mouth shut because he is only digging himself into a deeper hole.
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