Donald Trump has managed to make President Richard Nixon look good. But there are two individuals who have been master keepers of the secrets and know what is happening.
National Archivist Don Wilson served in the National Archive from 1987 to 1993. He pointed out that the House’s bipartisan January 6 Select Committee’s members and staff need those records to do their jobs.
Vice-Chair of the Select Committee Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) said that the presidential records must be turned over to the Select Committee, The Business Insider reported:
‘He’s [Trump] demonstrated that he’s willing to blow through every guardrail of democracy, and he can never be anywhere near the Oval Office again.’
Wilson worked at the National Archive at a time when electronic messages and emails first appeared. Former governor and current lecturer at Kansas State University, Carlin was also a national archivist.
These two were a part the massive effort that somehow managed to chronicle and organize all of the presidential records in the National Archives.
When the archivists looked at Trump’s efforts to keep his presidential records a secret from the House’s bipartisan Select Committee, they were alarmed. Carlin told The Daily Beast, that those trying to hide the documents could be looking at “prison time:”
‘Given how frantic they are… there are things in those records that are going to make real trouble. I’m talking about prison time. It reinforces the fact that they know they’re in real trouble if these things are released—particularly if they’re released soon.’
Carlin added that records “get the truth out:”
‘It’s important that records are used to get the truth out. Nothing highlights that more than the controversy we’re going through. Records are going to have a huge impact in determining who did what, particularly as you get to the Justice Department.’
Carlin, who was an archivist from 1995 to 2005, compared Trump to President Richard Nixon and his infamous White House tapes:
‘Nixon knew that tapes were going to kill him, and so he obviously fought and said they weren’t records. They were, because they were created in the Oval Office.’
Wilson explained that retaining “official documents” violated the Presidential Records Act:
‘You aren’t supposed to conduct personal business on your cellphone. If it is, then it’s an official record. Is this official business? If it is, then it’s technically a presidential record, even if it’s on your personal cellphone. All of it is supposed to be turned over at the end of the administration.’
Wilson continued with an example:
‘Maybe he thought he was somehow protected. It would be like writing a letter as a government official, then saying, “I wrote that on paper I bought and paid for, not federal paper.’ Baloney!” If that were allowed, you could have crooks in your administration and say, ‘Make sure you do all this on your own stuff. Don’t use any government typewriters.’
ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent and author of Betrayal Jon Karl wrote that former Vice President Mike Pence might want his records sealed, too. Karl told The Late Show host Stephen Colbert:
‘They refused to let me publish the photographs. But I have a suspicion that the January 6th Committee is going to want to see those photos. And those aren’t his photos. We paid for those photos. Those are part of the national archives.’
Carlin said the documents “belong to the United States of America:”
‘There’s no question about that. The vice president, as he leaves office, doesn’t get to say. They can’t see this. They’re creating records, and they’re all permanent And they belong to the United States of America.’
Wilson added that the archives impacted “the future of the country:”
‘I’m really kind of glad to see the special committee and the archives’ role in the middle of this. It does bring attention to presidential records and how important they are—not just for current events but for the future of the country. Archives aren’t just a repository. It’s preserving our national history.’
Even the Vatican deals with problems surrounding its archives. Apostolic Archivist Msgr. Sanchirico said the rumor about a female pope was just speculation that grew into wild legends, according to The National Catholic Reporter:
‘[T]he legend does not emerge at the same period of time” as the supposed events, but crops up 250 years later. The myth fell into oblivion after the 13th century, he said, but returned to popularity during the contentious period of the Protestant Reformation.’
Things are heating up with the Select Committee and can only get more interesting.
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads a chapter from her book of the same title. She also writes for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in process). Find her here on Facebook.