WASHINGTON, D.C. – Newly-discovered memos purport that – despite claims otherwise following the FBI raid at Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate – the Biden Administration was directly involved in the criminal probe into the former President of the United States amid allegations that he had violated the Espionage Act by taking as many as 300 classified documents with him to his Florida home when he left the White House.
The memos – reported on by conservative news site Just The News, which did not make them publicly accessible – allege that the Biden White House worked directly with the Department of Justice and the National Archives over Trump purportedly mishandling the top-secret documents, including allowing the FBI access to evidence initially gathered in the spring in addition to nullifying Trump’s executive privilege claims.
Just The News claims that the memos in question show that the FBI, DOJ and National Archives were in contact with then-White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan Su in April after Trump had returned 15 boxes of documents – some branded as being classified and top secret – that he had in storage at Mar-A-Lago to the National Archives.
Then, in May, Just The News claims that Su noted to the National Archives that President Joe Biden was willing to waive Trump’s executive privilege claims regarding the classified materials that he had been in possession of – as well as any that he may still have been holding onto, for reasons unknown – which then prompted the Justice Department to subpoena the 45th President to return any remaining documents that he may have.
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These events preceded the eventual granting of a search warrant by a federal judge and subsequent raid upon Trump’s Florida estate on August 8 – the former President was in New York at the time – where the FBI says they discovered additional classified documents on the premises.
A letter from National Archivist Debra Steidel Wall to attorneys representing Trump outlined the involvement of the Biden Administration in the criminal probe.
“On April 11, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office – affirming a request from the Department of Justice supported by an FBI letterhead memorandum – formally transmitted a request that NARA provide the FBI access to the 15 boxes for its review within seven days, with the possibility that the FBI might request copies of specific documents following its review of the boxes,” Wall wrote Trump defense attorney Evan Corcoran.
Wall’s letter also confirmed that Biden had allowed the National Archives to waive Trump’s claims of executive privilege if the former President attempted to prevent the FBI or DOJ from acquiring the classified documents, despite the fact that the White House claimed that they were not given a “heads-up” about the raid itself.
“The Counsel to the President has informed me that, in light of the particular circumstances presented here, President Biden defers to my determination, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, regarding whether or not I should uphold the former President’s purported ‘protective assertion of executive privilege,’” she said. “I have therefore decided not to honor the former President’s ‘protective’ claim of privilege.”
Some are looking at the situation as evidence of a current President allegedly having a former President – and potential future political rival – investigated as a way to prevent Trump from running for reelection in 2024, whereas others are questioning why Trump was purportedly in possession of possibly hundreds of sensitive, highly-classified documents – which he claims he had declassified, although proof of this has not yet been provided – that did not belong to him after leaving office.