OAN’s Daniel Baldwin
2:53 PM – Thursday, June 1, 2023
Article III Founder and President Mike Davis had a simple reminder.
“Presidents are allowed to take their records when they leave office,” said Davis.
This came after CNN issued an exclusive report claiming Special Counsel Jack Smith obtained a recording of former President Donald Trump saying he had classified documents regarding a possible attack on Iran.
“It doesn’t matter what one’s understanding or misunderstanding of the law is,” said Davis. “It matters what the law is. And the law is very clear under the Presidential Records Act that presidents are allowed to take their presidential records when they leave office. And presidential records are any documents created or received by the president or his White House staff.”
The report says the recording came from a July 2021 meeting in Bedminster, New Jersey with people working on an autobiography of Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows. CNN said that Smith, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the 45th president, “has focused on the meeting” as a key part of the probe.
Davis emphasized that the president of the U.S. has the absolute authority to declassify records as he chooses. He also claimed that the Presidential Records Act permits departing presidents to keep personal copies of presidential records. Davis believes the scrutiny Trump has faced is hypocritical of past practice for former presidents.
“Notice that these same pundits didn’t raise any concern when President [Bill] Clinton took 79 audio tapes, eight years of highly classified audio recordings of his presidency, including President Clinton’s discussions with foreign leaders, and put those in his sock drawer,” Davis explained. “And an Obama-appointed judge correctly held that when Presidents take records, when they leave office, they are declassified and personal under the Presidential Records Act.”
The Article III founder emphasized the fact that Trump stored his records at his official “Office of the Former President.”
“Congress provides former presidents the Office of the Former President with secure office space called SCIFs, Secure Compartmented Information Facilities,” Davis explained. “Congress gives former presidents staff with security clearances and secret service protection. There is no doubt that these records are secure when they’re in the Office of the Former President.”
Davis pointed out that President Joe Biden is also facing an investigation from special counsel Robert Hur regarding classified documents he took during his time as vice president and senator.
“What about the five stashes of stolen classified records that Joe Biden had from his time as vice president and even United States senator,” asked Davis. “These records were unguarded.”
Davis explained that Biden is not protected under the Presidential Records Act however, arguing he committed a crime taking classified documents.
“President Trump lawfully took his presidential records,” said Davis. “Biden stole Obama’s classified records and stole classified records when he was a senator. That is called espionage.”
Davis argued this situation is yet another example of the same principle the American people have seen over the last eight years.
“They’re trying to get Trump,” said Davis.
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