Trump claims he was 'under no obligation' to return 15 boxes of documents — despite federal law

Trump claims he was 'under no obligation' to return 15 boxes of documents — despite federal law
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Donald Trump, the former president currently under criminal investigation for alleged election interference caught on tape, is claiming he did not have to return the 15 boxes of White House documents he took to Mar-a-Lago, some of which may have been classified.

“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,” Trump said in a statement Thursday, NBC News reports. “In fact, it was viewed as routine and ‘no big deal.’ 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.”

That claim is in direct conflict with actions taken by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

This week the National Archives revealed it was forced to arrange to transport the cartons, which by law are federal property under the Presidential Records Act of 1978. NARA also revealed it is awaiting Trump to return other undisclosed items. On Wednesday the National Archives asked the Dept. of Justice to investigate Trump’s handling of White House materials.

The National Archives, tasked by Congress to maintain each administration’s complete records, earlier has said Trump was in the habit of ripping up documents, which had to be taped together.

Donald Trump, the former president currently under criminal investigation for alleged election interference caught on tape, is claiming he did not have to return the 15 boxes of White House documents he took to Mar-a-Lago, some of which may have been classified.

“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,” Trump said in a statement Thursday, NBC News reports. “In fact, it was viewed as routine and ‘no big deal.’ 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.”

That claim is in direct conflict with actions taken by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

This week the National Archives revealed it was forced to arrange to transport the cartons, which by law are federal property under the Presidential Records Act of 1978. NARA also revealed it is awaiting Trump to return other undisclosed items. On Wednesday the National Archives asked the Dept. of Justice to investigate Trump’s handling of White House materials.

The National Archives, tasked by Congress to maintain each administration’s complete records, earlier has said Trump was in the habit of ripping up documents, which had to be taped together.

On Thursday The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman reported, from her upcoming book, that “White House residence staff periodically found papers had clogged a toilet, leaving staff believing Trump had flushed material he’d ripped into pieces.”

Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Jacobs confirms Haberman’s reporting: “Trump is denying he flushed documents down a White House toilet, but @maggieNYT’s reporting is 100% accurate. Staff did find clumped/torn/shredded papers and fished them out from blocked bathroom toilet—and believed it had been the president’s doing, sources told me at the time.”

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