The National Archives confirmed on Friday that classified national security records were found in the 15 boxes former President Donald Trump had improperly brought with him to Mar-a-Lago. This, once again, raises serious questions about what Trump could be so desperate to keep from the public, as allegations of possible violations of presidential record-keeping rules continue to mount.
In a letter addressed to House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), which was first reported by the New York Times, the agency said that the Justice Department was now looking into the matter.
The discovery of classified information comes amid renewed scrutiny over Trump’s potential failure to comply with the Presidential Records Act. That includes a report from Maggie Haberman last week that clumps of wet paper routinely clogged a toilet in Trump’s White House—a discovery that staffers believed to be an effort by Trump to destroy documents—as well as previous claims that Trump would eat pieces of papers that he had ripped up in the Oval Office. Meanwhile, Trump has also furiously attempted to shield records related to the House select committee’s investigation into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
As my colleague David Corn wrote, it would be an uphill battle to prosecute and consequently bar Trump from running for office even if he was found guilty of flouting record-keeping rules. Could the confirmation today that he mishandled classified information change the calculus on that? Unclear. But it sure sheds one helluva hypocritical light on the lock-her-up crowd.