Fact Check: Did Barack Obama Illegally Take 30 Million Pages of Documents to Chicago?

Fact Check: Did Barack Obama Illegally Take 30 Million Pages of Documents to Chicago?

Obama Trump

Getty Images (2) Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump

President Barack Obama is the subject of a new line of Wahhabism that has emerged from conservatives hoping to shift the focus of the FBI’s search for sensitive documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home to almost anything else.

It wasn’t long until Trump and his supporters began casting doubts about the underlying causes of a property search in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, which was part of an ongoing criminal investigation into alleged White House mismanagement. records.

Trump described the search for the documents – some of which have been classified as highly sensitive and may indicate obstruction of justice or a violation of the Espionage Act – as “weapons of the justice system, and a coordinated attack by radical left-wing Democrats”.

His son, Eric Trump, claimed President Joe Biden “totally agreed” with the research, calling it part of an “absolute coordinated attack”, despite assurances that the White House had no prior knowledge of it.

RELATED: FBI Mar-a-Lago Research Roots From Detective: Report

Even Republican Senator Rand Paul suggested that the FBI may have planted evidence by asking during Fox News Division“How do we know they are going to be honest with us about what is really in the boxes? How do we know it was in the box before he left the residence?”

Then there is the so-called smile, a tactic that Trump immediately used. “Hillary Clinton was allowed to delete and launder 33,000 emails after she subpoenaed Congress,” he said in an initial statement about the research.

Clinton may be an easy target for a MAGA audience, but she’s not the only one. Obama has now gotten a few cues, too.

Related: Dismantling far-right terminology aimed at discrediting the federal investigation into Donald Trump

after, after New York Post An opinion piece published, alleging that Obama sent 30 million pages of his administration’s records to Chicago when he left office, Trump and his allies have been grappling with the claim while ignoring key differences between how the two previous presidents handled White House records.

“At the end of his presidency, Barack Obama moved 30 million pages of his administration’s records to Chicago…More than five years after the Obama presidency ended, the National Archives webpage reveals that no pages have been digitized and disclosed,” said Donald Trump Jr. . chirp Wednesday.

Fox News host Sean Hannity also made an announcement about Obama’s alleged actions on his show: “They shipped 30 million pages of sensitive and possibly classified material to Chicago, and by the way, none of it returned to the National Archives. Not a single page so is his home about intrusion?”

RELATED: ‘Donald is angry but afraid’: Motion in FBI investigation complicates Trump’s plans

Trump asked himself On his social networking site, Truth Social“And what about the 30 million pages of documents that Barack Hussein Obama took from the White House to Chicago? He refused to return them? What’s going on?”

After Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department had filed a motion in a Florida court to overturn the FBI’s search warrant and a proprietary receipt from the search, Trump repeated the claim about Obama’s “33 million pages of documents.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Attorney General Merrick Garland

Andrew Harnick/AP/Bloomberg via Getty US Attorney Merrick Garland

The whole thing is a distraction when the facts are considered – rather than audio picks about 30 million missing pages.

True, Obama’s White House records made their way to Chicago at the end of his second term. But the transfer of documents was done in cooperation with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which legally owns these records under the Presidential Records Act.

The 1978 law declares the records of the presidency and vice president to be the property of the federal government, with the NARA responsible for “trusting, controlling, and maintaining” the material once a presidential administration has ended.

Instead of storing Obama’s records in a presidential library owned by NARA as many of his predecessors did, the Obama Foundation worked with the agency to digitize non-confidential records.

Described as a “New Partnership for the Digital Age,” the digitization process was outlined in an agreement between the National Archives and the Obama Foundation.

“The parties agree that the digitization project will be implemented at all times in accordance with the requirements of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and other applicable federal laws, and for the purpose of making records accessible to historians and the general public in accordance with this Act,” reads the agreement, which also expressly states that The National Archives owns Obama’s records and they are kept at a facility in the Chicago area controlled by the agency.

There is no evidence that Obama or his establishment did anything illegal in dealing with his presidential records, NARA explained in a statement issued to People on Friday.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed legal and physical custody of Obama’s presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the statement read. “NARA has transferred approximately 30 million pages of non-confidential records to the NARA facility in the Chicago area, where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. In addition, NARA maintains confidential Obama presidential records at the NARA facility in the Washington, D.C. area. As required by the Prior to PRA, former President Obama had no control over where and how NARA stored his administration’s presidential records.”

RELATED: Violent rhetoric, civil war talk escalates in extremist circles after FBI legal research on Mar-a-Lago

In February, NARA said federal government officials went to Florida to retrieve 15 boxes of documents and other items that were supposed to be delivered at the end of Trump’s term in accordance with the law. Some of the documents retrieved were clearly classified as classified and included some that were classified as “top secret”.

Mar-a-Lago Resort

Mar-a-Lago Resort

Joe Riddell/Getty Images Mar Alago club

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Trump denied any wrongdoing at the time. “It is a great honor to work with Nara to formally help preserve Trump’s legacy,” he said in a statement. “The newspapers were delivered easily, without conflict and in a very friendly manner, which is different from the accounts set up by Fake News Media.”

Were Trump and his aides honest during the process of returning the boxes? Did they hand everything over or were sensitive items still missing? These are the questions federal investigators have been looking to answer by searching Monday at Mar-a-Lago, and the property receipt revealed Friday shows that multiple sets of classified documents have been recovered, indicating he hadn’t handed them over all the previous time.

Related: Trump suspected of violating Espionage Act, says Mar-a-Lago search warrant

To get a court order to search and recover Trump’s White House records from Mar-a-Lago, the FBI needed the approval of a “impartial and separate” federal judge. To obtain the judge’s signature, the investigators had to establish the probable cause by showing that there was reasonable information to support the possibility of finding evidence of illegality during the search.

Execution of the search warrant does not mean that Trump committed or is accused of a crime.

But there is an ongoing criminal investigation into whether Trump properly handled White House records after his presidency, which makes his case very different from that of Obama.

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