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Document shredding, Trump style – CNNPolitics


What follows him out of office are questions about whether he will face any consequences for his own mishandling of documents or, more importantly, for his effort to overturn the 2020 election he lost. More on that in a moment.

The growing irony of Trump’s “lock her up” chants. First, there’s the fact that he taunted Clinton and threatened to “lock her up” for deleting emails — when she served as secretary of state — that should have been preserved. This could have taught him not to destroy documents.

Then there’s the fact that Clinton lost some credibility among voters for appearing to hide her emails on a private server. This could have taught Trump to preserve everything.

Neither lesson was learned, according to two very interesting revelations about Trump’s mishandling of documents and possible violation of the law during and after his time as President.

Boxes of documents squirreled away at Mar-a-Lago. Fifteen boxes of documents improperly taken from the White House were recovered from Trump’s Florida resort by the National Archives.

Ripped-up documents. Trump, as President, routinely ripped up documents with his hands, ignoring the law about presidential records, only to have aides follow behind and tape them back together.

Trump has been at odds with the National Archives. It rejected his claim of executive privilege and, after a court battle, turned over documents to the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. The committee has received taped-together and torn-up documents from the National Archives.
What did Trump keep? Among the documents — which were previously in the White House residence, according to reports by CNN’s Gabby Orr and The Washington Post — are the letter former President Barack Obama left Trump at the White House in 2017 and letters to Trump from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump’s representatives are still searching for additional missing documents, according to the National Archives.

The document handover. No, the National Archives does not have a team of information agents. It was a “guy with a truck and work order” picking up the documents, a source told Orr, and the handover followed negotiations between the general counsel for the archives and Trump’s attorneys.

It’s not clear, at least not yet, if any documents taken to Mar-a-Lago were technically classified — although one can imagine his private correspondence with Kim, which Trump used to describe as “love letters,” would fall into that category.

Document shredding by hand. His reticence to give all his information to the National Archives is renewing interest in his tendency, throughout his presidency, to rip things up after looking at them.

Orr talked to three former White House officials who “said the former President sorted through file boxes in a rather methodical way — tearing up newspaper clippings or drafts of tweets that he had rejected and tossing them to the floor, or stacking papers he wished to hang on to in a disorderly…


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