Gustaf Kilander and John Bowden
Sun, 16 October 2022 at 4:28 pm
The former president also asserted that NARA had “lost” “massive amounts of information from past Presidents”.
Mr Trump took to Truth Social on Sunday morning to say that “NARA has ‘lost’ massive amounts of information from past Presidents, including classified and nuclear secrets all over the place, and they don’t care, they only care about going after ‘Trump,’ even though we’ve done everything right as per the Presidential Records Act and the Clinton ‘Socks’ Case”.
The “Clinton Socks Case” is a reference to interviews President Bill Clinton did with author Taylor Branch while in the White House, with recordings of the interviews at one point being stored in a sock drawer, according to a 2007 CBS News story.
Mr Trump also posed a 2012 story by the investigative non-profit Center for Public Integrity concerning boxes of secret documents going missing.
The centre noted that an investigation by NARA conducted between 2007 and 2010 found that “more than 1,500 boxes of classified documents have gone missing” at the Washington National Records Center.
“Among the missing records are 81 boxes with documents labeled Top Secret, Secret, and Restricted Data, among the highest classification categories,” the non-profit wrote more than a decade ago. “They were from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Navy, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the Energy Department, and other agencies. Restricted Data is a special category for data pertinent to nuclear weapons.”
The loss of documents was blamed on mismanagement at the records centre.
Legal experts are growing increasingly certain that Mr Trump will face criminal charges over his stashing of thousands of pages of presidential records at Mar-a-Lago.
What erupted into the national conversation with a stunning raid of the president’s home last month is now a bogged-down legal battle between Mr Trump’s lawyers, the Department of Justice and a special master appointed at the request of the former president.
But as with many investigations in recent years, the FBI’s probe of Mr Trump has resulted in a steady stream of leaks to the media which have painted a picture of a probe that those in the know say is likely already past the stage of proving wrongdoing. The question now is whether the Justice Department decides the case is worth prosecuting, not the strength of the case itself.
That was the conclusion that Andrew Weissman, a former Justice Department attorney assigned to work with Robert Mueller’s office of the special counsel during the Trump-Russia investigation.
Mr Weissman pointed to the latest leaks from the probe: a Washington Post story indicating that one of Mr Trump’s aides had testified to the FBI about moving boxes of documents on the former president’s orders.
“Between this […] and the testimony of Alex Cannon (to name just two recent developments) Trump’s MAL goose is cooked. As I have oft said, the issue is no longer the proof, but DOJ’s will,” tweeted Mr Weissman.
George Conway, a conservative attorney who supported Mr Trump’s impeachment despite his wife Kellyane Conway’s service as his 2016 campaign manager, agreed.
“It’s like a US attorney trying to bring a big mob case against the five families and trying to connect it up to the boss, and all of a sudden, they get the call from the NYPD saying ‘Hey, the big boss, the capo, is loading jewellery on a truck at Kennedy Airport. That’s what happened here. He’s caught red-handed,” Mr Conway quipped on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday.