He also once ate a document he shredded according to Omarosa Manigault, and boxes of documents were found at Mar-a-lago.
President Trump tore up articles, letters, briefings, schedules, memos and flushed official documents down the toilet drain. Yes. You read that right. He flushed official documents.
The House panel opened a new investigation into Trump’s handling of White House documents after he denied reports that he flushed the documents and insisted that he handed over the boxes to the National Archives voluntarily. The National Archives officials received 15 boxes of White House materials from Trump’s residence. Reports mentioned this month that Trump would often tear official documents and would send some to be burned at the Pentagon. Reports also suggest that the boxes include letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that have been poorly removed by the ex-commander in chief.
Trump wrote in a statement on Thursday morning, “Also, another fake story, that I flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet, is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.”
The congressional letter sent to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) said, “Removing or concealing government records is a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison.”
Trump slammed the House panel’s probe claiming, “The media’s characterization of my relationship with NARA is Fake News. It was exactly the opposite! It was a great honor to work with NARA to help formally preserve the Trump Legacy.”
According to the Axios report, further claims of Trump flushing down paper were made by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. She said in an interview with CNN, “As I was reporting out this book, I learned that staff in White House residence would periodically find the toilet clogged. The engineer would have to come and fix it. And what the engineer would find would be wads of clumped up wet, printed paper – meaning it was not toilet paper. It was either notes or some other piece of paper that they believe he had thrown down the toilet.”
Trump, as usual, completely denied the statements and said Haberman’s story to be “untrue and simply made up”. According to him, this idea of clogging the toilet with official documents is part of a wide Democratic scheme to distract people from “how horribly our Country is doing under the Biden Administration.” Trump also charged the investigation with hypocrisy, questioning why Hillary Clinton wasn’t requested to hand over her 32,000 emails. He said in his statement, “Crooked Hillary Clinton, as an example, deleted and acid-washed 32,000 emails and never gave that to the government. Then, they took large amounts of furniture out of the White House. And Bill Clinton kept numerous audio recordings that the archives wanted, but were unsuccessful at getting after going to court. We won’t even mention what is going on with the White House in the current, or various past administrations.”
NARA has asked the Justice Department to probe into Trump’s role in the removal of White House documents as he exited the office. The House Oversight panel, headed by New York Representative Carolyn Maloney requested NARA to provide details of the 15 boxes obtained from Trump’s Mar-a-Logo residence, pointing out to “Please provide a detailed description of the contents of the recovered boxes”. Another question was pointed out asking whether NARA knows the presidential records removed by Trump or attempted to be destroyed without their approval.
NARA will most probably hand over the documents that Trump took along with him to Florida, however, the knowledge of the flushed documents will remain a mystery. Funny enough, in 2019, Trump once ranted about the nation’s flushing power, saying that his administration was looking to relax laws on water-saving regulations for toilets, showers and sinks. He said, “‘People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once. They end up using more water. The EPA is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion.”