At the beginning of the month, it was reported that President Trump’s staff had received specific instructions to preserve all materials that could be “connected to Russian interference in the 2016 election.”
Today, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell revealed that she has been informed by a “single source” that White House staffers are directly contradicting that order.
While speaking to Rep. Dan Donovan (R-New York) on Friday, Mitchell explained:
‘I’ve learned from a single source…I’m told that there are a lot of former transition team members in and outside of the White House now purging their private phones, afraid that they are gonna get subpoenaed by these various investigators.’
She then asked Rep. Donovan, “What is their legal risk for purging their phones of any transition comments?”
Donovan explained that he did know the specific ramifications of deleting this information since he is “not privy” to the situation; however, he did tell Mitchell that the staffers would be “violating the law” if they had been subpoenaed and deleted the information anyways.
The staffers may not have been subpoenaed yet; however, they are ignoring specific orders if they are indeed deleting information, and that behavior is not going to go over well with the people who are investigating the Trump team’s ties to Russia.
Rachel Maddow addressed Mitchell’s interview with Rep. Donovan briefly on Friday night’s episode of her show. After reminding viewers of the Associated Press’s report on the order for all White House staffers to preserve potentially pertinent information, she issued a warning to those who are currently purging their phones:
‘If they’ve been told to preserve and they’re purging this stuff, all of them who are doing that, all of you who are doing that, if you are watching me, you are potentially in legal jeopardy for doing that.’
It’s hard to not point out the irony in the fact that Trump staffers are being accused of purging their phones and deleting important information after the President ran a campaign that was centered around calling for Hillary Clinton to be arrested for deleting emails and using a private email server.
President Trump even called on Russia to find Clinton’s missing emails during his campaign. It seems safe to say that he will not be doing the same this time around.
Watch Mitchell’s interview in the video below, via YouTube. It begins around 7:26.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images.