Archivally challenged

Ed Pilkington at the Guardian notes that Trump has an issue with documents:

Trump has been archivally challenged, to coin a phrase, for many years. The roots of his refusal to abide by normal rules relating to documents stretch back at least to his refusal to disclose his own tax returns during the 2016 presidential campaign – a resistance to accepting public access to his personal papers that is the mirror image of his current claim that presidential records from his time in the White House belong to him.

Good point. Trump gets to keep his secrets, and he also gets to violate all other forms of secrecy. Heads he wins tails we lose. Trump’s will is all that matters on all occasions.

By June 2018 such proprietary behavior was expressing itself in the White House. Politico reported that Trump was routinely tearing up official records rather than filing them for safekeeping in the National Archives as he was legally obliged to do.

White House aides were left desperately attempting to tape the documents back together – a farcical vignette of government in the Trump era. After he was forced out of the White House, many presidential papers were received by the archives in similarly torn-up condition.

Was there a plan? If so what was it?

Then there is the overriding puzzle: what, if anything, was Trump intending to do with the documents and why has he gone to such tortuous lengths to hold on to them? Cohen, who watched Trump’s antics up close for many years, thinks he knows the answer.

“Donald intended to use the documents to extort the US government and prevent an indictment and conviction. In essence: a get out of jail free card.”

That, or paper the public rooms at Maralago with them.

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