Adam Schiff: Trump Can Be Prosecuted for ‘Willfulness' in Destruction of Documents
Schiff targets 45th president in another interview
Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) has claimed former President Donald Trump could face prosecution for “willfulness in the destruction of documents” belonging to the United States under the Presidential Records Act.
During CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” guest host John Berman said:
“I want your take — the fact the National Archives is asking the Justice Department to investigate the former president’s handling of these White House records.”
“Do you think there’s any possible criminal exposure, particularly if there are any classified documents he took to Mar-a-Lago as The New York Times is reporting tonight?”
“Well, first of all, I think they are absolutely right to make the referral to the Justice Department because there’s public reporting, and the archives may know more than this, that the president was repeatedly warned that he couldn’t destroy these documents, that he would be violating the law if he did so"
“And so it looks very willful,” Schiff said.
“And if there’s evidence of potential willfulness in the destruction of documents, that is the kind of case if any case is going to be prosecuted might be prosecuted.
“If it were to happen, it’s a case like this where it appears to bow a willful decision,” Schiff said.
“And the classified allegation is much more serious in my view.
“That is that Donald Trump brought to Mar-a-Lago in an un-secure location in boxes that others may have access to classified information.
“If that allegation proves, correct the Justice Department, in my view, will have to investigate."
As CNN claimed in a report:
Trump would routinely rip up documents, drafts, and reading materials, and he took several boxes to Mar-a-Lago when he relocated to Florida after leaving the White House -- raising concerns about his preservation of presidential records as required by federal law.
Three former White House officials told CNN they saw Trump, on numerous occasions, manually destroy papers he was no longer interested in or had finished reviewing -- a practice that made it difficult for White House staff secretaries to preserve presidential records, the report added.
Those officials said the former president sorted through file boxes in a rather methodical way -- tearing up newspaper clippings or drafts of tweets that he had rejected and tossing them to the floor, or stacking papers he wished to hang on to in a disorderly stack atop his desk.