Donald Trump took letters from former President Barack Obama and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un when he left the White House, so the National Archives had to go find them at his residence in Florida, The Washington Post revealed on Monday. At the end of their term, U.S. presidents must send all their emails, letters, and other working documents to the National Archives for preservation.
Donald Trump, the first U.S. president in office to have met a member of the Kim dynasty, had an epistolary relationship with the North Korean leader. “He wrote me beautiful letters, they are magnificent letters. We have fallen in love,” the president told his supporters in September 2018.The two leaders exchanged several letters during Trump’s tenure.
But last month, senior National Archives officials traveled to Florida to retrieve these boxes, including Kim Jong-un’s letters, The Washington Post claims. Donald Trump’s aides and the National Archives did not respond to AFP’s questions.
Last week, the National Archives revealed that the former president had a habit of tearing up some of his working papers, even though it is banned. “Among the presidential documents received by the National Archives were paper documents that had been broken by former President Trump,” they told AFP
“White House records management officials” had “taped” some of the sheets, they added. Donald Trump is also accused of destroying documents related to many of his actions, despite the illegality of this practice.
What is Drama of Broken Documents ?
This is not the only scandal about records that the former president is going through. The legislative commission investigating the assault on the US Capitol in January last year has in its possession a series of documents broken by Donald Trump when he was in the White House, the Washington Post reported.
The papers come from the National Archives, tasked with keeping all of a president’s working papers after he leaves the White House. “Among the presidential documents received by the National Archives were paper documents that had been torn apart by former President Trump,” the institution confirmed in a statement to AFP.
Consulted by AFP, the commission dubbed “January 6” refused to clarify which documents it had in its possession and which specifically had been torn. But in mid-January he announced that he had begun receiving certain documents “that the former president hoped to keep hidden.”
Among the documents were correspondence sent to him by the North Korean leader during the bilateral thaw process, which Trump once described as “love letters”; as well as a letter left in the Oval Office by his predecessor, Barack Obama (2009-2017). Taking those boxes has not been the only problem Trump has raised with the National Archives: The former president often broke into pieces official documents, which were sent to that US agency still in pieces or pasted, the Post indicates. Some of those documents broken and then glued with cellophane are among those received last month by the House committee investigating the January 2021 assault on the Capitol, according to the newspaper.
Although all recent former presidents have violated the Presidential Records Act in some way, the number of documents Trump took away appears to be unprecedented, according to sources consulted by the newspaper. The law provides for penalties of up to three years in prison for those who act maliciously when it comes to hiding or destroying documents, but proving that is difficult and experts consulted by the Post see very unlikely that there will be consequences of what happened for Trump.