National Archives wanted to share classified docs from Mar-a-Lago with FBI and intel community for damage assessment months ago


According to the letter released Monday evening, more than 100 documents, classified documents, consisting of more than 700 pages, were collected by the Mar-a-Lago archives in an initial batch of 15 boxes that were shipped in January.

The documents contain materials marked as sensitive compartments, meaning they must be viewed in a secure government facility, and a special access program, a classification that significantly limits who has access to the information, the archives said.

The full text of the letter was posted late Monday on a website operated by John Solomon, a writer who also serves as Trump’s archives representative. CNN has confirmed the letter through a source familiar with the document.
The May letter from acting US archivist Debra Steidel Wall contains important new details of the months-long interaction between administration officials and the Trump team early this year after the 15 boxes of material were returned from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives. .
The letter outlines a deferential treatment of the former president, with the FBI waiting more than a month to access a damage assessment of what was found in the 15 boxes, which had been held in a location that did not meet the requirements for highly sensitive classified materials.

When the archives first notified the Justice Department of the large amount of classified information retrieved from Mar-a-Lago early this year, law enforcement officials refused to launch a criminal investigation. Top officials weighed the national security implications of classified information stored in an insecure location, knowing that the political backlash to come from the FBI and federal prosecutors would launch another investigation that had legal ramifications for Trump.

The delay in allowing the FBI to review the materials occurred as the records grappled with Trump’s possible claim of executive privilege, and the letter outlines discussions involving the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the White House. are about what to do about it, even considering Nixon-era legal precedents, before letting the FBI do its job.

Eventually, the Biden White House Counsel’s office was turned over to the archives, allowing the Biden administration to begin what has now become a full criminal investigation investigating possible crimes, including mishandling national defense information and obstruction of justice.

‘No short question’

Before sending the May 10 letter, the National Archives had previously informed the Trump team on April 12 that it would give the FBI access to the documents, according to the statement included in the letter. The White House had blessed the records for sharing the material with the FBI. But at the Trump team’s request, the Archives postponed that production until April 29.

Trump’s lawyers then — in letters apparently sent on April 29 and May 1 — asked the archives to further delay production, according to the report’s May 10 letter, because the Trump team said it would have more time. needed to review the documents to decide whether to assert privilege over any of the materials.

In the May 10 letter, the archive told Trump’s attorney it rejected the request for further delay. The Archives told Trump’s attorney it had consulted the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal advice to the executive branch, and was told there was no precedent for the current situation. The archives had sought the advice of the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel after President Joe Biden’s counsel told the archives that Biden was deferring the archive for a determination on how to deal with Trump’s protective claims of privilege.

“The question in this case is not close,” the Archives said. “The executive here is accessing data belonging to and in the custody of the federal government itself, not only to investigate whether that data has been unlawfully handled, but also, as the National Security Division explained, to “prove an make an assessment of the potential damage resulting from the apparent manner in which these materials have been stored and transported and take the necessary remedial action.'”

Trump Continues ‘Witch Hunt’ Claims

The version of events in the new letter shows what steps the Archives was willing to take to address Trump’s privileged concerns. Still, Trump and his allies have pointed out to claim it showed he was the victim of a “witch hunt,” especially because of the letter’s mention of the archives’ communications with the Biden White House.

“The White House stated strongly that they were NOT INVOLVED, and knew absolutely nothing about the political witch hunt that was going on with me, and that they knew absolutely nothing about the Mar-a-Lago break-in,” Trump said on Truth Social.

The letter was made public hours after Trump filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking the appointment of a special master to search the evidence the FBI obtained during the Aug. 9 Mar-a-Lago search. How successful the new gambit will be remains unclear. It was filed two weeks after the search was conducted, and Trump’s legal team has yet to file the type of emergency motion that would speed up processing the request. The lawsuit, while full of fiery political rhetoric, also lacked solid legal arguments as to why the judge should intervene in the case.

This story has been updated with additional details.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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