The Biden White House potentially played a role in the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, based on government emails obtained by the America First Legal, a conservative government watchdog group.
AFL obtained the information through a Freedom of Information Act request to the National Archives and Records Administration, and on Monday followed with additional records requests.
The documents from the records request show the FBI first obtained access to the records through a “special access request” from the Biden White House. Federal law 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, according to America First Legal.
“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,” Reed D. Rubinstein, director of oversight and investigations for America First Legal, said in a public statement. “This government, it seems, acknowledges no limits on its power to harass, intimidate, and silence its political opponents.”
On Aug. 8, FBI agents raided the Florida home of Donald Trump looking for classified information, as part of a dispute between the 45th president and the National Archives regarding the Presidential Records Act.
On Aug. 23, weeks after the raid, NARA General Counsel Gary Stern wrote an email to agency staffers about the documents held by Trump.
“And this evening, the [Washington] Post just published a new story detailing an April 12 email that I sent to the Trump reps concerning the DOJ special access request and the overall issue,” the email said.
Federal law 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, according to America First Legal.
The Stern message to colleagues quotes The Washington Post story: “On April 12, an Archives official emailed [Patrick] Philbin and John Eisenberg, another deputy White House counsel, to tell them the Justice Department, via the Biden White House, had made the request. The email offered the lawyers the opportunity to view the documents as well, but said the documents were too sensitive to be removed from the agency’s secure facility.”
Philbin and Eisenberg both worked as former Trump White House lawyers.
This suggests the Biden White House and the Justice Department coordinated to obtain the Trump records through the ‘special access request,'” America First Legal alleges in a press release.
The AFL asserts that the National Archives chief was not honest with Congress. The organization pointed to an Aug. 16, 2022 letter from Acting Archivist Debra Wall to Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, that says: “When NARA identified items marked as classified national security information within the 15 boxes, NARA referred this issue to the DOJ. Since that time, the DOJ has been exclusively responsible for all aspects of this investigation, and NARA has not been involved in the DOJ investigation or any searches that it has conducted.”
The National Archives did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal Tuesday for this story.
“The evidence suggests that the ostensibly nonpartisan National Archives and Records Administration misled Congress about the Biden White House’s responsibility for the FBI’s raid of former President Trump’s home,” Rubinstein said.
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