Donald Trump is a ruthless man of complete chaos. Trump often contradicts himself and the members of his administration regularly. Trump, most recently tweeted that he does not have “tapes” of his conversations with James Comey, which he claimed to have when he tweeted in May. Trump is a liar. That is no secret. We all know this. The fact that he uses Twitter and regularly deletes tweets, has put him in a tremendous amount of trouble.
Trump is in hot water with two groups, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington often referred to as CREW, and the National Security Archive. Together, these groups have filed a lawsuit against the president for violating the Presidential Records Act and the Constitution’s requirement that the president is to take care that the laws be executed properly.
The groups believe that Trump and members of his staff have been deleting tweets that White House officials regularly use as a means of correspondence. Trump’s staff uses apps that automatically delete emails and allow private communications between top staff, cutting the press and public out from knowing the daily happenings of the president. Basically, the White House is deliberately destroying historical records of plans and conversations, which is a violation of the law.
The lawsuit states:
‘First, this suit challenges as contrary to law the Defendants’ communications practices that knowingly prevent the proper preservation of records the Defendants generate or receive when carrying out the President’s constitutional, statutory, or other official duties. Second, Plaintiffs challenge the Defendants’ usurpation of agency duties and responsibilities by consolidating power in the White House. As decisions generated by the White House, Executive Orders are cloaked in secrecy, preventing federal agencies from complying with their statutory duties under the Federal Records Act (“FRA”), the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), and the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).’
What sets this lawsuit apart from the others is Trump is actually guilty of destroying records. During a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with top military officials, Trump tweeted about the meeting and then deleted it, violating the Presidential Records Act. The lawsuit goes on to state:
‘Critical checks and balances are built into our system of government, including those implemented through congressional and judicial oversight. The ability of those checks and balances to work depends on the availability of a record of President Trump’s actions. Thus, the Defendants’ compliance with their record-keeping responsibilities under the PRA and FRA could not be more important. Yet, the evidence to date suggests that President Trump and others within the White House are either ignoring or outright flouting these responsibilities. From early on in this Administration, White House staff have used and, on information and belief, continue to use certain email messaging applications that destroy the contents of messages as soon as they are read, without regard to whether the messages are presidential records. Presidential statements made on Twitter sent from the President’s personal Twitter account, which are subject to federal record-keeping obligations, have been destroyed. The President also has implied that he is secretly tape-recording some or all conversations with Administration officials, and it is unclear if these tapes are being preserved. And there is at least one news report that, when the ongoing congressional and FBI investigations were disclosed, White House aides purged their phones of potentially compromising information. These practices violate the Presidential Records Act.’
This lawsuit is a serious issue for the president, and another nail in the coffin of his presidency.
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