'Beyond me': Karl Rove raises questions about why Trump kept official government documents without authorization
Karl Rove recently weighed in on former President Donald Trump’s latest legal woes following the release of a heavily redacted version of the affidavit in connection with the classified documents investigation.
On Friday, August 26, Rove appeared on Fox News where he admitted that he cannot understand why Trump would keep classified documents without authorization.
"Why he was holding on to these materials when he had no legal authority to do so under the Presidential Records Act is beyond me,” Rove said to Fox News host Sandra Smith.
Rove, who previously served as a White House senior adviser under former President George W. Bush's administration, also offered an assessment of what the affidavit suggested.
Based on the number of inquiries made for the documents, it appears as if Trump, according to HuffPost, may have "stonewalled government officials’ repeated requests" although those documents should have been turned over to National Archives when his presidential term ended.
“It is clear that beginning sometime in early 2021 through January of 2022 ... the National Archives and Records Administration was continually asking for the return of all material,” he said.
“Trump has said several times all they had to do was ask. Well, my sense is they were asking for a year and a half,” Rove said during the interview.
The former White House official also noted that under the Presidential Records Act, it is stated that “a president does not have the right to leave the White House and pick and choose what documents he wants to take with him."
While Rove acknowledged that copies can be requested, there are also stipulations when it comes to that.
“He can ask for copies, but those are the property of the American people," he said, adding, "And since 1978, no president has left ... picking and choosing their own documents.”
Rove's remarks follow a timeline of events leading up to the Federal Bureau of Investigations' (FBI) search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. Back in May 2021, the U.S. National Archives made its first inquiry about retrieving the documents, per the affidavit.
Months later, Trump's aides responded to the request saying that 12 boxes were available but the National Archives ultimately retrieved 15 boxes in January of this year.
Per HuffPost, when FBI agents searched the luxury estate, they retrieved "dozens of additional boxes, including 11 packets of classified documents."
The news outlet added, "Among that set was a batch labeled with the highest classification markings, meant for review only in secure government facilities."
Watch the full clip below or at this link:
\u201cFox News anchor Sandra Smith: "Going back to the New York Post headline...you could have just asked."\n\nKarl Rove: "My sense is they were asking for a year and a half, and why he was holding on to these materials when he had no legal authority to do so under the PRA is beyond me!"\u201d— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona) 1661534949
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