After the FBI took thousands of papers from Mar-a-Lago that were supposedly federal property, Donald Trump launched another assault on the National Archives and Archives Administration, which manages presidential records.
‘At NARA, there is no security. I need my papers back. In a long statement on Tuesday, Trump expressed his displeasure and charged the federal agency of mishandling the handling of official papers.
The Justice Department claims that during a search at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, it seized over 11,000 documents, including about 100 with classified marks, as part of an investigation into possible breaches of the rules governing the handling of federal records.
Many of those papers, according to investigators, should be in the National Archives, but in his statement, Trump criticized the institution, citing a humiliating 2009 event in which NARA misplaced a hard drive containing information from the Clinton administration.
Trump posted a CNN piece about how NARA misplaced an external hard disk with private information, including the names, contact information, and Social Security numbers of visitors and workers at the White House.
Trump claimed in his letter that “NARA lost an entire hard drive full of HIGHLY SENSITIVE material from the Clinton White House.” How much more have they “lost”? How can Americans have faith in such a system?
In a processing area at NARA’s College Park, Maryland facility, the aforementioned hard disk was discovered to be stolen in March 2009.
Approximately 15,750 people’s names and social security numbers were on the misplaced disk, the agency said in a statement.
The hard disk only included backups of the original documents, according to NARA’s statement at the time. But it doesn’t seem like the lost drive was ever found.
After hours on Tuesday, a query from DailyMail.com was not immediately answered by the National Archives press office.
After an Appeals Court decision that barred a “special master” from reviewing sensitive records seized from the president’s Florida club, Trump has requested the Supreme Court to get involved in the Mar-a-Lago case.
Trump wants to return to a procedure in which a senior judge serving as a special master examines evidence gathered during the search of his Florida club to decide whether or not to accept Trump’s allegations about evidence the former president believes to be privileged.
This might provide Trump the opportunity to utilize the review to keep some information tagged as “top secret” or “classified” out of the hands of federal investigators who are looking into the removal and retention of national security-related papers.
Trump’s attorneys requested that Justice Clarence Thomas issue an emergency order overturning the appeals court’s decision. Thomas, a Circuit Justice who has emerged as the head of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority, is in charge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, but he has the authority to refer the case to the whole court.
It is only the most recent twist in a legal battle that has raged through the courts and brought attention to Trump’s legal problems once again in the months leading up to the November elections.
The Justice Department moved to the 11th Circuit in an attempt to have part of Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision overturned after she appointed a “special master” to analyze the information obtained during the FBI search. Judge Cannon was chosen by Trump.
They aimed to repeal the sections of the order where Trump was claiming privilege and where the special master was required to review sensitive information (approximately 100 papers designated classified were recovered in a search on August 8).
Trump shouldn’t be permitted to assert executive privilege against such materials, according to the DOJ, which also claimed to keep attorney-client records out of the government’s hands.
Even though the special master continued to play the lead role, the government won. Trump’s staff suggested District Judge Raymond Dearie, who is still serving in the position. A three-judge panel of the Appeals Court found in favor of the DOJ.
In response to Trump’s own assertion of privilege, Trump’s team said that any intervention with the assessment of the information “erodes public trust in our system of justice.”
The DOJ may continue to utilize secret documents in its investigation, according to the appeals court’s judgment, which was not challenged by Trump’s legal team, legal experts said on Tuesday.
Trump’s legal team submitted the 296-page document in an effort to reverse a portion of the most recent judgment from the appeals court.
Their argument is that it undermines “the integrity of the well-established principle against piecemeal appellate review and disregarding the District Court’s vast authority without cause.”
Trump’s team claims that the ruse might undermine the special master’s position, much as the DOJ has said it could obstruct an investigation into possible violations of the Espionage Act.
They said, “This unjustifiable stay should be removed since it seriously impedes the Special Master’s continuing, time-sensitive work.”
Furthermore, any restriction on the thorough and open examination of the evidence gathered during an unusual raid on a President’s house undermines public faith in our legal system.
They claimed that the Special Master Order was not subject to 11th Circuit review because it “lacked jurisdiction.”
Trump’s attorneys refer to Justice Ketanji-Brown Jackson, who began sitting on the high court on Monday, in one footnote.
They write, “As Justice Jackson long ago recognized, the wheels of justice grind to an ignominious halt when a person—not just the political opponent of the sitting administration—is targeted for “being attached to the wrong political views” or “being unpopular with the predominant or governing group.”
Four of Trump’s attorneys, Lindsey Halligan, Chris Kise, Evan Corcoran, and James Trusty, signed the Supreme Court submission. A $3 million advance is apparently being worked on by Kise.
In a step that some legal experts questioned would take place, Trump’s attorneys defended the first appointment of a special master by Judge Cannon, who was approved only weeks before Trump left office.
“The unheard-of circumstances presented by this case—an investigation of the forty-fifth president of the United States by the administration of his political rival and successor—compelled the District Court to acknowledge the significant need for enhanced vigilance and to order the appointment of a Special Master to ensure fairness, transparency, and maintenance of the public trust,” they write.