According to a recent story, the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort was related to a case involving recordings made by former President Bill Clinton.
Journalist John Solomon tweeted on Thursday that “Judge’s ruling over audio tapes hidden in Bill Clinton’s sock drawer could significantly impact Donald Trump’s effort to contest FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.”
Judge’s ruling over audio tapes hidden in Bill Clinton’s sock drawer could significantly impact Donald Trump’s effort to contest FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago | Just The News https://t.co/MBCisbJ1rg
— John Solomon (@jsolomonReports) August 18, 2022
According to CBS, the decision included audio tapes Clinton had in a sock drawer that he used for his autobiography and that author Taylor Branch also mined for his book “Wrestling History: The Bill Clinton Tapes” about Clinton.
The tapes turned into a contentious issue when the watchdog organization Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit demanding that the National Archives and Records Administration receive the tapes so that the American people could hear them.
In March 2012, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed the lawsuit.
Solomon cited a few passages from the 27-page decision as noteworthy in a piece for Just the News because they showed the president has broad discretion over materials under the Presidential Records Act.
“Under the statutory scheme established by the PRA, the decision to segregate personal materials from Presidential records is made by the President, during the President’s term and in his sole discretion,” Jackson wrote.
“Since the President is completely entrusted with the management and even the disposal of Presidential records during his time in office, it would be difficult for this Court to conclude that Congress intended that he would have less authority to do what he pleases with what he considers to be his personal records,” the judge noted.
The decision also said it was improper to seize these records.
“Because the audiotapes are not physically in the government’s possession, defendant submits that it would be required to seize them directly from President Clinton in order to assume custody and control over them,” Jackson said. “Defendant considers this to be an ‘extraordinary request’ that is ‘unfounded, contrary to the PRA’s express terms, and contrary to traditional principles of administrative law.’ The Court agrees.”
How does that relate to Trump, then? The former president claimed that the papers that were taken were both declassified and personal, as Solomon pointed out.
The cases are profoundly related, according to Tom Fitton, head of Judicial Watch.
“The government, the lawyer for the Archives, said, ‘You know what? If documents are in the former President’s hands, where they’re presumptively personal, we just, you know, we presume they’re personal,’” Fitton said, according to Just the News.
“The Justice Department previously had told us in response to a question about Bill Clinton: ‘Tough luck, it’s his.’ But they changed their mind for Donald Trump?” he asked. “The law and court decision suggests that Trump is right. And frankly, based on this analysis, Trump should get every single document they took from him back. It’s all personal records.”
Fitton had a different opinion at the time, as highlighted by Politico.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“We respectfully disagree with the Court,” he said then. “The idea that a president could spirit official recordings and documents out of the White House and that there is nothing that can be legally done about it is a misreading of the Presidential Records Act. It is ironic that a law passed in response to the Nixon tapes controversy would allow Bill Clinton to keep tapes of his official actions secret and unavailable to the American people.”
Kevin Brock, former assistant FBI director for intelligence, said the search warrant used by the FBI was faulty and over broad, according to Just the News. CONTINUE READING…