Offenders hate to leave traces that could confuse them. Is it this phobia that animated Donald Trump? As early as 2018, the Politico site had reported its mania for destroying at all costs: memos, reports, drafts… However, this is a crime against which at least two of his chiefs of staff had warned the former President.
The Presidential Records Act of 1978 requires that everything be kept by the federal government and then placed in the National Archives when a President leaves the White House. This law was passed in the wake of the presidency of Richard Nixon who, when he resigned in the midst of the Watergate scandal, had cleaned up.
A “love letter” from Kim Jong-un
Concerned about the law, Trump’s staff had established rescue procedures. Aides-de-camp picked up documents torn up in four by the ex-president and left them on his desk, in garbage cans, and even on the floor of the presidential plane. Everything was wrinkled, repaired with tape, and stored, reports the Washington Post. Nevertheless, Trump has crossed the yellow line. In January, the National Archives recovered fifteen boxes of documents taken to his Florida home.
In the lot, the handwritten letter that Barack Obama had given him during the transfer of power, or a letter received from Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, which Trump had called a “love letter”. This is not trivial. Because documents from the Trump era have just resurfaced. These coins were obtained with the great struggle by the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on the day of January 6, 2021, when thousands of Trumpists had stormed the Capitol, the seat of Parliament.
Some had been torn and patched. Among them, a draft decree of December 2020 ordering the seizure by the army of voting machines in states where the populist challenged the victory of Joe Biden. If this decree never saw the light of day, it shows the extremes envisaged by Trump to cancel his defeat.
Poor archive management?
This revelation is published while the US National Archives, responsible for preserving the documents of US presidents, have asked the justice to open an investigation into Donald Trump, said the Washington Post Wednesday, February 7. The Republican billionaire’s management of his presidential archives has been questioned several times in recent weeks: the institution said Monday that it had to recover in Florida fifteen boxes of documents that Donald Trump had taken after leaving Washington in January 2021.
However, under a 1978 law, every U.S. president must forward all of his emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives. Last week, the institution also revealed that the former leader used to tear up some of his working papers, another law-abiding practice. Another revelation of Maggie Haberman’s book concerns the relationship between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, which would have continued after the defeat of the Republican in the presidential election in 2020, according to confidences made by the Republican to relatives.
The former president had described as “love letters” the messages sent by the North Korean dictator, with whom he has maintained a regular diplomatic relationship, marked in particular by a historic meeting in 2019 in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. Since he left power, Donald Trump has been the subject of numerous books of revelations signed either by journalists or by former relatives.