Biden administration was involved in getting documents back from Trump

Joe Biden’s White House was working with the National Archives to investigate the records Donald Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago and the former president knew back in May that he was under ‘criminal investigation’ on the matter.

The National Archives found more than 700 pages of classified material in the 15 boxes of records recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in January, according to a May 10th letter from the acting archivist to Trump’s attorney, posted online by John Solomon, a conservative journalist and Trump ally.

The archives alerted the Justice Department about the discovery of the classified information, which included ‘special access program materials,’ some of the most highly classified secrets in government. 

That notificiation triggered a grand jury investigation that eventually led to the FBI raid of Trump’s Palm Beach home in August, where additional material was discovered.

In her May letter, acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall warned Trump attorney Evan Corcoran that there was a criminal investigation into the material, meaning the former president knew for months he was under an ongoing probe.

‘Access to the materials is not only necessary for purposes of our ongoing criminal investigation, but the Executive Branch must also conduct an assessment of the potential damage resulting from the apparent manner in which these materials were stored and transported and take any necessary remedial steps,’ she wrote. 

Trump, however, crowed that the letter posted by Solomon, who is one of Trump’s authorized liaisons to the National Archives to review papers from his presidency, showed that Biden was involved in the raid.

The former president and his allies have argued the August raid was politicially motivated and orchestrated by the White House. The White House has said Biden had no advance warning of the raid. Attorney General Merrick Garland said he personally ordered it. 

But Trump, writing on his Truth Social website, said: ‘The White House stated strongly that they were NOT INVOLVED, and knew absolutely nothing about, the political Witch Hunt going on with me, & that they didn’t know anything at all about the Break-In of Mar-a-Lago. This was strongly reiterated again & again. WRONG! Remember, these are the people who spied on my campaign, denied it, & got caught. Through the great reporting of John Solomon (Fake Pulitzer Prize?), documents reveal they knew everything, in fact led the charge – a political NO, NO!’

Joe Biden’s White House was working with the National Archives to investigate the presdential records Donald Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago, a new letter reveals

Acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall

Trump attorney Evan Corcoran

In her May 1oth letter, acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall (left) warned Trump attorney Evan Corcoran (right) that there was a criminal investigation into the material that the former president took with him when he left the White House

The May 10th letter, from Debra Steidel Wall, to Trump attorney Evan Corcoran, refers to the 15 boxes of material turned over by Trump to the archives in January – months before the August 8th raid on Mar-a-Lago recovered additional documents.

Once the Department of Justice was informed the National Archives found classified material in those boxes, the department asked Biden’s White House Counsel Dana Remus for permission to let the FBI examine the material. 

Wall outlined the concerned the National Archives (NARA) had about the storage of the materials and who had access to them. 

‘There are important national security interests in the FBI and others in the Intelligence Community getting access to these materials,’ she wrote.

‘According to NARA, among the materials in the boxes are over 100 documents with classification markings, comprising more than 700 pages. Some include the highest levels of classification, including Special Access Program (SAP) materials,’ she noted.

The purpose of her letter was to inform Trump’s attorneys that the archives was giving the FBI access to the documents for its criminal investigation.

Trump’s attorney was claiming executive priviledge over the material and trying to delay the federal investigation.

Wall’s letter to Corcoran notes he asked for ‘additional time for you to review the materials in the boxes ‘in order to ascertain whether any specific document is subject to privilege,’ and then to consult with the former President ‘so that he may personally make any decision to assert a claim of constitutionally based privilege.”

Biden’s White House counsel’s office delegated the decision on whether or not executive priviledge applied to Wall, her letter notes.  

She notes that ‘he Assistant Attorney General has advised me that there is no precedent for an assertion of executive privilege by a former President against an incumbent President’ and reaffirms Trump’s records are the property of the federal government.

She informed Corcoran she was denying his request to delay the FBI access to the records and the agents would be able to start examining the material on May 12.   

The Justice Department asked President Joe Biden's White House counsel for authorization to examine the Trump records for classified information

The Justice Department asked President Joe Biden’s White House counsel for authorization to examine the Trump records for classified information

The investigation into the 15 boxes of material that Trump turned over to the National Archives in January led to the a criminal probe that resulted in the August raid on Mar-a-Lago (above)

The investigation into the 15 boxes of material that Trump turned over to the National Archives in January led to the a criminal probe that resulted in the August raid on Mar-a-Lago (above)

Under the Presidential Records Act, all White House documents must be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of each presidential administration.

The law declared all presidential and vice presidential records property of the federal government, with ‘custody, control and preservation’ of the records delegated to the National Archives when a president leaves office. 

Trump returned 15 boxes to the Archives earlier this year. These are the boxes Wall was referring to in her letter. 

And it was those documents that helped trigger the criminal investigation that resulted in federal agents raiding Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, seeking to recover more.

In the August raid, about 10 more boxes worth of material was retrieved.

All together – the records recovered in January and in August – contained more than 300 documents with classified markings, The New York TImes reported. 

Trump’s allies claim the former president had the ability to declassify any records of his choosing. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk