(…) With every development regarding this federal ransacking, two things remain unchanged. It looks increasingly clear that the Trump legal team was cooperating with federal officials regarding the documents in question, so the obstruction of justice allegation gets weaker by the day. Second, where is the crime that precipitated this search of Trump’s home because recent updates only make it seem like the Justice Department cobbled together statutes that aren’t criminal to justify this ransacking?
Flashback: Trump honors Debra Seidel Wall, the archivist who triggered Mar-a-Lago raid pic.twitter.com/9nW5gmaq2D
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 23, 2022
The latest development in this legal fiasco is Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall’s role in the document retrieval, where she seems to be one of the leading figures who triggered the FBI raid. As Tom Elliott of Grabien clipped, Trump honored this woman during his presidency, which he cited as a failure on the former president’s part for not draining the swamp (via WaPo):
Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall also notified Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran that the agency would provide the FBI access to 15 boxes of materials in order to investigate “whether those records were handled in an unlawful manner” and conduct an assessment to determine if any damage might have resulted from the improper handling of materials, according to the May 10 letter.[…]
“As the Department of Justice’s National Security Division explained to you on April 29, 2022: ‘There are important national security interests in the FBI and others in the Intelligence Community getting access to these materials. According to NARA, among the materials in the boxes are over 100 documents with classification markings, comprising more than 700 pages. Some include the highest levels of classification, including Special Access Program (SAP) materials,’” Steidel Wall wrote.
The FBI removed an additional 20 boxes of items from the Mar-a-Lago Club earlier this month, including four sets of top-secret documents and seven other sets of classified information, according to a written inventory of the items seized in the high-profile search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.[…]
Trump’s lawyers sent letters on April 29 and May 1, according to Steidel Wall’s account, to delay the production of the materials to the FBI so that Trump could decide whether to assert executive privilege over the materials. John Solomon, a writer who also serves as one of Trump’s representatives to the National Archives, first posted the text of the letter on Monday.
Steidel Wall ultimately rebuffed their request after consulting with the Department of Justice.
“The question, in this case is not a close one,” Steidel Wall wrote. “The Executive Branch here is seeking access to records belonging to, and in the custody of, the Federal Government itself, not only in order to investigate whether those records were handled in an unlawful manner but also, as the National Security Division explained, to ‘conduct an assessment of the potential damage resulting from the apparent manner in which these materials were stored and transported and take any necessary remedial steps.’”