Internal government documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the group America First Legal reveal that the Biden administration participated in the raid of ex-President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, despite reports suggesting that its officials were taken aback by the news circulating on social media.
"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," said Reed D. Rubinstein, America First Legal senior counselor and director of oversight and investigations, in a Tuesday social media post. "This government, it seems, acknowledges no limits on its power to harass, intimidate, and silence its political opponents."
After a Freedom of Information Act request by America First Legal uncovered that the FBI had initially gained access to Trump records through a "special access request" from the Biden White House, Rubinstein made the aforementioned comments.
This newly obtained information substantiates Fox News' reporting from August, wherein NARA's acting head Debra Wall had written a letter to Trump's attorney hinting at the participation of the administration.
The White House knew about the raid on Mar-a-Lago ahead of time despite their constant denials.
Another bold faced lie by Joe Biden.
Why should the America people have any faith in our government or our politicians when they constantly lie to straight to our faces? pic.twitter.com/ib1U27ErVl
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 11, 2023
Despite the Archives' prior claim of non-involvement in the DOJ investigation, records indicate that John Laster, the official at the Archives responsible for handling access requests for Presidential records, was involved in the said request.
"On October 25, 2022, Acting Archivist Wall wrote to then-Ranking Members James Comer and Jim Jordan, claiming ‘NARA received the 15 boxes from President Trump on January 18, 2022, and then discovered that they contained classified national security information. Shortly after the discovery, NARA consulted with its Office of Inspector General (OIG), which operates independently of NARA. As DOJ has disclosed publicly in court filings, NARA’s OIG subsequently referred the matter to DOJ on February 9, 2022,’" America First Legal wrote.
"If the OIG acted independently in making a referral to the FBI, then Mr. Laster would not have involved himself in the FBI’s review of the 15 boxes in his capacity as the Director of the White House Liaison Division ‘responsible for all access requests for Presidential records.’"
As per America First Legal, the statute pertaining to special access "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," the organization stated.
The letter sent in August from Wall to Trump's attorney, Evan Corcoran, appeared to insinuate President Biden's participation as well.
"NARA informed the Department of Justice about that discovery, which prompted the Department to ask the President to request that NARA provide the FBI with access to the boxes at issue so that the FBI and others in the Intelligence Community could examine them," Wall stated. "The Counsel to the President has informed me that, in light of the particular circumstances presented here, President Biden defers to my determination, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, regarding whether or not I should uphold the former President’s purported ‘protective assertion of executive privilege."
I called it the morning of the Mar-a-Lago raid. Biden knew everything!!! https://t.co/lbFK97InSi
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) April 11, 2023
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