WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Office of the Inspector General to obtain records related to the Biden White House’s “Special Access Request” for President Trump’s records located at Mar-a-Lago.
On August 8, 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted an unprecedented raid of Mar-a-Lago on the ground that potentially classified records existed there. According to press reports, Biden Administration aides were “stunned” to hear of this development.
However, new NARA records obtained through America First Legal’s investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Mar-a-Lago raid further confirmed that the FBI obtained access to these records through a “special access request” from the Biden White House on behalf of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
It appears that the Biden White House and DOJ coordinated to obtain the Trump records and perhaps create a pretext for the law enforcement raid by way of a “special access request.”
What this effectively means is that there are substantial discrepancies between what the Archives has told Congress and what appears in its internal communications. For example, Acting Archivist Debra Wall told Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) on August 16, 2022, that NARA “had not been involved in the DOJ investigation or any searches that it has conducted.”
This stunning revelation suggests that NARA was misleading Congress about the White House’s role in the shocking raid of President Trump’s home, and the fact that the Biden White House was acting “on behalf of” the DOJ raises significant legal concerns.
The special access statute authorizes special access requests to an incumbent president only when the records in question are needed for “the conduct of current business” of the White House. Providing documents to the DOJ for purposes of a criminal investigation is not the “current business” of the White House.
Accordingly, America First Legal is demanding NARA turn over records related to the Biden White House’s involvement in the politically motivated raid of President Trump’s home.
Statement from Reed D. Rubinstein, Senior Counselor and Director of Oversight and Investigations:
“The evidence suggests that the ostensibly nonpartisan National Archives and Records Administration misled Congress about the Biden White House’s responsibility for the FBI’s raid of former President Trump’s home. The evidence further suggests that Biden officials in the Executive Office of the President and the Department of Justice unlawfully abused their power and then lied about it to the American people. This government, it seems, acknowledges no limits on its power to harass, intimidate, and silence its political opponents.” said Reed D. Rubinstein.
Read the FOIA here.
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