(RightWing.org) – The FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence in August 2022. Biden administration officials claimed they were “stunned” when they found out about the unprecedented move by the nation’s premier investigative agency. However, a new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request shows the White House may have played a role in the now-infamous Mar-a-Lago raid.
On April 10, 2023, First American Legal sent a document request to Debra Wall, the acting head of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
/1 🚨THREAD — records obtained from our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Mar-a-Lago raid further confirm that the FBI obtained access to these records through a “special access request” from the Biden White House on behalf of the DOJ.https://t.co/JapM7ZFq4k pic.twitter.com/O9fne5qRD1
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) April 10, 2023
The letter detailed events surrounding 15 boxes of documents turned over to NARA by Trump and their relationship to the August raid at the former president’s residence.
Archives officials contacted the OIG after discovering hundreds of classified documents in the boxes it received from Trump officials. The OIG contacted the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the matter due to the sensitive nature of the files.
In the meantime, Trump’s lawyers invoked presidential privilege over the documents, preventing the FBI from obtaining them. The bureau was investigating the national security implications of the so-called mishandling of the files and possible criminality.
As a result, the DOJ and an unnamed White House official emailed a special access request to John Laster, NARA’s director of its Presidential Materials Division, providing the FBI access to the contents of the 15 boxes of documents.
First American Legal’s FOIA request alleges that the White House acted improperly when it submitted the request, citing Title 36 CFR, Section 1270 of the US Code of Federal Regulations, which covered matters related to NARA.
The letter explained that under Section 1270.44, NARA could release the contents of the 15 boxes — despite Trump’s assertion of privilege — to four entities.
- “A court of competent jurisdiction in response to a… subpoena” related to a civil or criminal proceeding or investigation.
- A sitting president if they need access to the records “to conduct current presidential business.”
- The US House or Senate, or congressional committees, provided they need the records “to conduct business.”
- A former president provided that the records date back to their administration.
First American Legal asserts that since the materials claimed in the 15 boxes don’t relate to “current presidential business,” the White House circumvented federal regulations by directing NARA to release the records to the FBI for investigative purposes. The group also claims the Biden administration’s unlawful action helped the FBI obtain its August 2022 Mar-a-Lago search warrant.
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