As more details emerge from the FBI “raid” of Mar-a-Lago, which is already being downgraded to a “low-key” search, a new report claims that White House officials were growing increasingly concerned with Donald Trump‘s habit of carting around documents in cardboard boxes. Following his loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, top staff members realized the issue could easily become a concern as Trump was showing no signs of complying with the Presidential Records Act.
More worryingly, nobody knew what the heck Trump was even carting around. Via The New York Times:
For many months before he left office, Mr. Trump would tell aides to bring documents up to the residence for him while he was in the Oval Office, and they complied, but there was no process in place, meaning that officials whose job it was to keep track of paperwork did not always know exactly what had gone up there, according to people familiar with the events.
By the end of his presidency, and as Mr. Trump was fighting to overturn his election loss, some of his aides were concerned with preserving the work of the office itself. His habit of transporting material around in cardboard boxes, with either a personal aide or a valet carrying them, was well known, but the contents were not always clear.
According to the Times, White House staff held meetings on how to get Trump to surrender his boxes, but it’s unclear if he was ever asked or “officials simply did not take the issue to him.” Clearly, the problem has escalated as evidenced by the search warrant served on Mar-a-Lago. Newsweek recently reported that an informant supplied the FBI with information on which documents Trump had and where to find them.
As for why the sudden concern over the documents that the National Archives has tried to retrieve from Trump since he left office, Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice are remaining silent.
(Via The New York Times)