Criminal Referral Sent To DOJ Over Trump Document Theft

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When the January 6th Select Committee subpoenaed White House records for their investigation, Donald Trump blocked them from obtaining them with a long court battle that ended up before the Supreme Court of the United States. Once he had exhausted his legal options, the time to turn over the documents came, but a number of them were missing.

The National Archives, in order to fulfill their obligation to turn over those documents, had to retrieve a number of boxes in order to do so. They were stashed, to everyone and no one’s surprise, at Mar-a-lago, hidden away as Trump shielded them and himself from being exposed. Now, the National Archives wants the removal of those documents investigated as a crime.

According to MSNBC:

‘Officials with the National Archives and Records Administration had to go to Mar-a-Lago last month in order to retrieve documents — materials that were supposed to have been turned over to the records-keeping agency — that the former president had “improperly removed.” How many materials? While initial reporting suggested it was a modest haul, we soon learned that the Archives had to retrieve 15 boxes from the Republican’s golf resort.’

The only reason for a criminal referral is if the federal entity who manages those records feels as though a law may have been broken. While it is unclear how Attorney General Merrick Garland may act on the referral, the request by the National Archives is the first indication that Trump may have committed serious crimes.

According to The Washington Post, who first broke the story:

‘The National Archives and Records Administration has asked the Justice Department to examine Donald Trump’s handling of White House records, sparking discussions among federal law enforcement officials about whether they should investigate the former president for a possible crime…. Archives officials suspected Trump had possibly violated laws concerning the handling of government documents — including those that might be considered classified — and reached out to the Justice Department, the people familiar with the matter said.’

What remains from the discovery of Trump’s White House documents, some of which had to be retrieved by staffers who taped together the papers torn up and shredded in order to be hidden from view by the twice-impeached ex-president who lost the popular vote twice, is a criminal referral and a determination whether any information is still missing from the records obtained by the National Archives.

‘It’s important to emphasize that it’s one thing for an agency to request an investigation from federal law enforcement; it’s something else for the Justice Department to grant the request and start scrutinizing possible misconduct from the former president. But if the reporting is accurate, it appears the National Archives believes Trump’s mishandling of official documents may have risen to the level of criminal misconduct.’