The Biden White House authorized the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to waive former President Donald Trump’s claim of executive privilege in the Justice Department’s investigation into his handling of classified documents, according to a NARA letter.
The letter, first reported by Just the News, was sent by National Archivist Debra Wall to Trump attorney Evan Corcoran on May 10 and shows that President Joe Biden personally delegated the decision to waive Trump’s claim to executive privilege to NARA following a request by the DOJ to view classified documents Trump handed over to the agency. Trump had voluntarily turned over 15 boxes of documents he had taken with him to his Mar-a-Lago home after he left office earlier this year, and the investigation into his handling of classified documents ultimately culminated in the Aug. 8 FBI raid on his Florida home.
“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 former the former President’s purported ‘protective assertion of executive privilege,’” Wall wrote.
“I have therefore decided not to honor the former President’s ‘protective’ claim of privilege,” Wall wrote.
The Biden administration made the authorization after the 15 boxes of materials were returned at NARA’s request, according to the letter. (RELATED: ‘Think About What They Could Do To You’: Lara Trump Issues Dire Warning To American Public After Trump Raid)
“On April 11, 2022, the White House Counsel’s Office—affirming a request from the Department of Justice supported by an FBI letterhead memorandum—formally transmitted a request that NARA provide the FBI access to the 15 boxes for its review within seven days, with the possibility that the FBI might request copies of specific documents following its review of the boxes,” the letter read.
FBI agents raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate Aug. 8 to recover additional documents Trump had allegedly stored in potential violation of federal law. The documents, which the DOJ claims were classified, contained “special access program materials,” some of the most classified documents, according to the letter.
Trump has maintained he declassified the documents.
Then-White House Deputy Counsel Jonathan Su had multiple conversations with the FBI, DOJ and NARA after the initial return of boxes from Mar-a-Lago, according to Just the News. The White House’s actions effectively eliminated a legal defense for former President Trump and allowed the FBI and DOJ to review the materials.
“The Biden White House is at the ignition point of this investigation,” John Solomon, editor-in-chief of Just the News and author of the report, told Fox News host Sean Hannity, saying the White House was acting long before the controversial FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago. Republicans criticized the raid, calling it an “abuse of power” by the Biden administration.
Former President Trump and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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