White House Staff Taping Official Documents Trump Tore Up Back Together
Historians are being forced to tape together White House documents from the last four years, which have been torn up by Donald Trump.
There are fears that huge gaps could be left in the White House’s history as a result of the departing president’s habits of tearing up official papers before throwing them out.
Former White House records analyst Solomon Lartey has revealed how he was forced to tape documents back together early on in Trump’s presidency, despite staffers warning the president the papers needed to be intact.
‘They told [Trump] to stop doing it. He didn’t want to stop,’ Lartey explained, adding that the first document he taped back together was a letter from Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer about a government shutdown.
The White House chief of staff is reported to have informed Trump that documents were considered presidential records and therefore were legally required to be preserved.
In fact, during the first two years of his term, Trump tore up so many documents that 10 records staff were put on taping duty, to try and salvage the pieces of history that were being destroyed.
He even went as far as confiscating documents, such as the notes made by an interpreter during a conversation with Vladimir Putin, which were thought to include topics such as Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, The Guardian reports.
Despite warnings not to conduct official business using private emails and other forms of communication, Trump’s staff are known to have used personal emails and messaging apps, failing to preserve the information that has been exchanged.
Richard Immerman, from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, told The Guardian that ‘not only has record-keeping not been a priority, but we have multiple examples of [Trump’s administration] seeking to conceal or destroy that record.’
As well as leaving huge chunks in the history books, it’s feared the lack of records could also hinder investigations for his impending impeachment trial.
Anne Weismann, one of the lawyers representing the National Security Archive, two historical associations and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who are suing to prevent the Trump administration destroying electronic communications or records sent or received on non-official accounts, added: ‘I believe we will find that there’s going to be a huge hole in the historical record of this president because I think there’s probably been serious noncompliance of the Presidential Records Act. I don’t think president Trump cares about his record and what it says. I think he probably cares, though, about what it might say about his criminal culpability.’
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