Trump Is Trying To Block Access To His Presidential Records To Avoid ‘Prison Time,’ Says Former National Archivist

The one-year anniversary of the Capitol siege is drawing near, and it appears the House committee investigating that fateful day still have some snooping (and maybe some jailing) to do. Among the intel they seek are Donald Trump’s White House documents. One problem: The former president has been aggressively blocking access to them, citing “executive privilege” — an erroneous claim, one judge pointed out, considering he’s no longer in office. But he may have some other reasons for making sure no one sees them.

The Daily Beast spoke with Don W. Wilson and John W. Carlin, two former heads of the National Archive, which is where each presidential records are sent after their tenure ends. While Wilson and Carlin haven’t seen those documents, they’re sure they’re deeply incriminating.

“Given how frantic they are… there are things in those records that are going to make real trouble. I’m talking about prison time,” Carlin told The Daily Beast. “It reinforces the fact that they know they’re in real trouble if these things are released—particularly if they’re released soon.”

Some of the records the Jan. 6 committee seek are stored on personal e-mail accounts and cellphones. Former chief of staff Mark Meadows has tried to block access to them, citing “presidential privilege.” But Wilson says that’s a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

“You aren’t supposed to conduct personal business on your cellphone. If it is, then it’s an official record. Is this official business? If it is, then it’s technically a presidential record, even if it’s on your personal cellphone,” Wilson said. “All of it is supposed to be turned over at the end of the administration.”

Among the things Trump’s records may show is whether or not he tried to use the Department of Justice to intimidate states to contest the 2020 election results. They could show whether or not he plotted with Republicans to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s win. They could show whether or not he schemed with rally organizers to lure his supporters to the Capitol building, which they then violently stormed, resulting in five deaths. Whatever the case, for Trump and his allies to try to block the truth from coming out seems awfully fishy.

(Via The Daily Beast)