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Biden asked the FBI to look at the first batch of secret Trump documents

A newly released letter shows that the Biden administration sent the FBI to pick up 15 boxes of classified information from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. This is part of the investigation of former President Donald Trump for allegedly mishandling secret government information.

The May 10 letter from Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall to Trump attorney Evan Corcoran, which was published by JustTheNews late on Monday, confirms that the White House counsel's office asked the National Archives on April 11 to "give the FBI access to the 15 boxes for its review within seven days." This was in response to a request from the Department of Justice, which was backed by a memo on FBI letterhead.

Debra Steidel Wall.
Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall revealed that the Archives and the DOJ were concerned about the amount of classified material found in the boxes returned in January. 
National Archives and Records Administration

Wall says that Trump's legal team tried to stop the information from being made public until April 29.

JustTheNews said that on that date, Corcoran wrote to National Archives general counsel Gary Stern and asked that the handover be further delayed "until we have had the chance to review the documents and consult with President Donald J. Trump so that he can personally decide whether to assert a claim of constitutionally-based privilege."

In a letter dated May 10, Wall denied this claim. He wrote that Supreme Court precedent "strongly suggests that a former President may not successfully assert executive privilege 'against the very Executive Branch in whose name the privilege is invoked.'"

Wall also said that the Justice Department had told him, "There is no precedent for a former President to use executive privilege against an incumbent President to stop the incumbent President from getting Presidential records that belong to the Federal Government and contain information that is needed for the current business of the incumbent President's office and is not otherwise available."

"I have therefore decided not to honor the former President's "protective" claim of privilege," Wall wrote, after making it clear that her letter had Biden's signature: "The Counsel to the President has told me that, in light of the particular circumstances presented here, President Biden defers to my decision, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, as to whether or not I should uphold the former President's purpose."

Christopher Schroeder was confirmed as assistant attorney general in October of last year. He also worked for the DOJ during the Clinton and Obama administrations.

Wall told Corcoran, "For the same reasons, I've decided there's no reason to grant your request for more time before the FBI and other members of the Intelligence Community start their reviews." "Therefore, [the Archives] will give the FBI access to the records in question as soon as Thursday, May 12, 2022, as asked by the current President."

The National Archives and the White House didn't answer right away when The Post asked if Biden had signed off on the first note from the White House counsel's office on April 11.

Evan Corcoran.
Donald Trump’s legal team sought to delay the FBI’s access to the boxes of documents until April 29.
Jose Luis Magana/AP
Documents related to the search warrant for former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.
Documents related to the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

Wall's letter also shows that the Archives and the Department of Justice were worried about how much classified information was in the boxes that were returned in January.

The archivist said that there were "classification markings" on more than 700 pages of 100 documents, some of which were "up to the level of Top Secret and included Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Program materials."

"The DOJ's National Security Division was quoted by Wall as saying, 'Access to the materials is not only necessary for our ongoing criminal investigation, but the Executive Branch must also do an assessment of the potential damage caused by the way these materials appear to have been stored and moved and take any necessary steps to fix it.'" "As a result, we are trying to get access to these materials right away so that the Executive Branch can make the assessments it needs to make."

Donald Trump.
On May 11, a grand jury issued a subpoena for documents bearing classification markings that were still held by former President Donald Trump.
Robert Miller

The day after Wall sent his letter, on May 11, a grand jury sent Trump a subpoena for any classified documents he still had in his possession. On June 3, officials from the DOJ and FBI went to Mar-a-Lago to get relevant documents from Trump's lawyers.

But officials thought the former president was keeping even more classified information, so on August 5, US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart issued a search warrant for Trump's home.

Three days later, FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago and took 27 boxes of stuff, including 11 sets of secret, top secret, or confidential documents, according to an inventory list that Reinhart later made public.

Joe Biden.
The Biden administration has insisted the president was unaware of the Mar-a-Lago raid until it happened. 
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The White House has said that Biden didn't know about the raid until it happened at Mar-a-Lago.

"Really, he learned about it like the rest of us. I'm sure someone on his team probably told him about it, but he didn't know," said press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on August 9.

"What I can tell you for sure is that he did not know about this. No one in the White House was, including him. We weren't told what was going to happen, and we didn't know what happened yesterday," she said.

Since then, Attorney General Merrick Garland has said that he was in agreement with getting the search warrant.

Trump has criticized the FBI investigation many times, and on Monday he filed a motion to stop investigators from going through the documents they have seized.

"We are now asking that the Department of "Justice" be told to STOP looking at the papers that were taken from my house without a warrant. ALL of the documents have already been made public, the former president said soon after the motion was filed.

"The White House made it clear that they had nothing to do with the political witch hunt going on against me and didn't know anything about the break-in at Mar-a-Lago," Trump said in a Truth Social post after Wall's letter was made public.

"This was stressed over and over again. WRONG! Remember, these are the people who spied on my campaign, lied about it, and got caught. Through John Solomon's excellent reporting (Fake Pulitzer Prize? ), documents show that they knew everything and even led the charge, which is a political "NO, NO!"

Wednesday, Republican lawmakers were outraged, saying that Wall's letter shows that the White House lied when they said Biden didn't know about the raid.

The White House staff has said over and over that they "didn't know" about the raid before it happened. Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) said on Twitter that it was clear that was a lie. "2. Joe Biden hasn't said anything about it in two weeks. What else does he want to keep from the people of the United States?"

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) wrote, "We KNEW Biden had to be lying when he said he didn't know about the Trump raid." "The truth is now being told."


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