In January the National Archives and Records Administration collected 15 boxes of documents that Trump took improperly, and has reportedly asked the Justice Department to investigate the former president’s mishandling of records. The boxes Trump reportedly took to Florida included materials that were clearly marked as classified and some that were extremely sensitive top secret documents, the Post reported.
A Trump spokesperson denied the Post’s reporting in a statement. “It is clear that a normal and routine process is being weaponized by anonymous, politically motivated government sources to peddle Fake News,” Taylor Budowich told the Post. “The only entity with the ability to credibly dispute this false reporting, the National Archives, is providing no comment.”
Neither the National Archives nor the Justice Department immediately responded to a VICE News request for comment. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has not yet reviewed the documents, the Post reported.
The documents are reportedly being stored in a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) until the Justice Department decides on next moves, according to the Post. It’s unclear just how many classified documents were in the boxes retrieved by the National Archives or what they contained, the Post reported.
The revelation nonetheless adds to a barrage of bad news around potential violations of the Presidential Records Act and Trump’s ability to maintain records, or lack thereof. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and the events leading up to it has reportedly found gaps in the White House telephone logs from the day of the riot, which temporarily delayed the certification of the 2020 election, the New York Times reported Thursday.
Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman also repeated a story this week about watching Trump tear up a piece of paper, put it in his mouth, and chew it. And a forthcoming book by Times reporter Maggie Haberman claims that the toilet in Trump’s White House bathroom was clogged on multiple occasions, and an engineer found wads of printed paper “in the pipes.”
Trump called Haberman’s reporting “categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.” And former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the allegations that Trump had destroyed records wasn’t “that big of a deal” during a Thursday appearance on the conservative network Newsmax, before redirecting criticism for Trump’s alleged mishandling of documents to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up Trump’s State of the Union address in 2020.
“They will ignore Nancy Pelosi ripping something up on national TV behind the President, those documents I can tell you we couldn’t find those either,” Meadows said, referring to a speech that was shown on national television and then entered into the Congressional Record. “And yet somehow she got a pass.”
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