After the FBI’s raid at Mar-a-Logo, accusing former President Donald Trump of the mishandling of confidential and top-secret documents, there have been many that have argued why or why not Trump is guilty of this. Some argue that Trump committed a heinous crime, and needs to go to prison, while others state that Trump previously declassified all the documents, that were stored in a locked storage room at Mar-a-Lago.
When arguing both sides of the case either for or against Trump, one must look at past court cases, in which the same situation occurred. These court cases would set a precedent, for how future court cases will be decided. Originally it was thought that what was done with the FBI raiding Mar-a-Lago, to obtain documents that Trump had stored there, never happened to a past President before, but in a way, it has. It was discovered that after President Bill Clinton left office, he kept audiotapes in his sock drawer at home, which the National Archives wanted. Clinton refused to hand these tapes over. As reported by The Washington Times yesterday, “A 2012 court case denying access to White House audiotapes kept in former President Bill Clinton’s sock drawer after he left office could help the Trump legal team in its battle to retrieve records that the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago this month.”
During the court case against Clinton, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, “rejected arguments…that sought access to dozens of tapes recorded by Mr. Clinton and historian Taylor Branch during his administration.” Judge Jackson ruled that the tapes belonged to Clinton, and that the National Archives and records had no power to “seize control of them, because Mr. Clinton had used his authority under the Presidential Records Act to declare the recordings part of his personal records.”
What does this mean for President Trump? Trump’s attorneys will use this case to support the argument that the President has the sole authority to declassify documents. Democrats continue to argue that Trump did not follow the proper procedure declassifying documents, but constitutional experts argue that the only procedure that a President has do is speak the words, “The documents are declassified,” in which they automatically become personal records.
Trump’s attorneys filed a motion on Monday in federal court, seeking to have a neutral party, looking to appoint a special master, who would have the ability to review the records that were taken. Trump’s attorneys also in the motion, suggested that the raid was “politically motivated” and want the return of all documents that were outside of the scope of the search warrant.
The Washington Times, 8/22/22 by Susan Ferrechio. Presidential records found right in Clinton’s drawer.