Did Donald Trump Just Confess to Violating the Presidential Records Act?

It’s hard to imagine that there is anyone more detrimental to Donald Trump than Donald Trump. His reckless outbursts online and at his cult rallies invariably end up exacerbating his already precarious legal jeopardy. And with the myriad civil and criminal investigations of his malfeasances in and out of office currently in progress, he is succeeding only in further incriminating himself.

Donald Trump

On Thursday Trump posted a rambling statement (via his Twitter ban defying spokes-shill) that appeared to have been at least partially drafted by attorneys attempting to distance Trump from the illegalities that threaten to drag him down. But true to form, Trump doesn’t seem to be cooperating with his legal advisors.

The statement by Trump was in response to reports that fifteen boxes of materials that Trump improperly took from the White House were retrieved from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida by the National Archives. But his statement was rife with new controversy and even a virtual confession. It began by saying that…

“Following collaborative and respectful discussions, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) openly and willingly arranged with President Trump for the transport of boxes that contained letters, records, newspapers, magazines, and various articles. […] The papers were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis, which is different from the accounts being drawn up by the Fake News Media.”

Contrary to Trump’s characterization, there were no media accounts that portrayed the recovery of the materials from Mar-a-Lago as “conflicted.” However, his assertion that the recovery was “friendly” conflicts with virtually every encounter he’s ever had with regard to complying with demands for documents or testimony. In fact, he routinely files lawsuits to avoid cooperating.

Furthermore, his having surrendered these materials “easily” doesn’t mean that it wasn’t improper for him to have taken them to begin with. Particularly those that were classified, as is now suspected by the Archives who have asked the Department of Justice to investigate.

Trump continued his statement with a claim that…

“In actuality, I have been told I was under no obligation to give this material based on various legal rulings that have been made over the years. Crooked Hillary Clinton, as an example, deleted and acid washed 32,000 emails and never gave that to the government.”

If Trump was actually told that he “was under no obligation” to turn over these materials, then he should have proof of that. It’s not the sort of thing that is granted verbally by government agencies. But more importantly, Trump is claiming that there was legal precedent for him to remove those records from the White House. And he is using the example of Hillary Clinton as his excuse.

That’s a peculiar legal strategy considering that Trump repeatedly accused Clinton of violating the law. Therefore, he is, in effect, confessing to violating the law himself. After all, if he thought that Clinton was guilty of taking classified documents home (for which there is no evidence that she did), then surely he would have to be considered guilty as well since he’s admitting to having committed the same alleged crime. Right?

This wouldn’t be the first time that Trump publicly confessed to violating the law. Last month he released a statement in which he admitted that he participated in a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election. And it wouldn’t be the first time that he lied about his unlawfulness either. That’s one of the reasons (along with his notoriety for failing to pay) that Trump has been unable to secure competent legal representation. What lawyer would want to represent a client who keeps blabbing about his guilt?

UPDATE: It turns out that Trump was lying about the “friendly” return of the documents. CNN reports that “people familiar with the matter described a tense situation that took nearly eight months to resolve, [and that] it may have been a threat that ended the impasse. At one point, the Archives notified a member of Trump’s team that it planned to alert Congress and the Department of Justice of the matter if it wasn’t quickly resolved.”

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4 thoughts on “Did Donald Trump Just Confess to Violating the Presidential Records Act?

  1. It boggles the mind that so many appear not to see a problem with #45 taking home govt.. docs. Should make it easier to get hm in the cellblock. If the people responsible for protecting the nations paperwork are willing to take him to court and to the cell block.

    • Sadly, I doubt that Hairplug Himmler is ever going to be held accountable for his crimes.

      • I have to agree. It sickens me to watch various news networks & see so many of them saying “maybes” & “may suggest” on things of which there is NO doubt about it. It seems as if the media is hedging their bets? Afraid of Rethug cheating outcome in elections & don’t want to be singled out…for what?! Telling the facts, as already known?!!

        There’s no doubt that ge removed at least 15 boxes of documents, etc from WH & that it’s against the law for him to take anything that he didn’t bring with him when he arrived.
        Also, no question that he was told illegal to remove anything from WH – 2 of his aides/advisors said they’d told him. (No doubt more than once!)
        Also, he made a big deal over how illegal it was…Pelosi tearing up her copy of his SOTU address after his speech. He pointed out how illegal he thought it was & why it was. So yes, he knew darn well & like all else, he just doesn’t care, believing that no laws apply to him & nothing would be done to him over it.
        He was 1/2 right.

        • Yes, but doesn’t Congress have to update the Presidential Records Act? You know how that would go over with so many Trumpster assholes taking up the seats? So, as last resort, the Archives had to notify the DOJ. Even so, the prosecutors don’t have the balls to go against the flipping idiot, Don the Con. And what about the documents Maggie Haberman says White House Aides continually found clogging his infamous White House toilets? Her book on the subject is coming out. I like how you brought Pelosi into this document thing. She knew there were other copies of Trump’s SOTU address, so, rightfully so, she did not get into trouble. She has continually had the balls to go against Trump.

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