Documents obtained from the National Archives by America First Legal have revealed that President Joe Biden’s administration directly coordinated with the FBI in the raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
On August 8, 2022, the FBI raided Trump’s residence in search of supposedly classified documents. Following the raid, Biden administration officials claimed that they were not made aware of the FBI’s plan ahead of time and said that they were “stunned” to hear of the unprecedented action, according to multiple reports from the mainstream media. The National Archives also claimed that it had “not been involved in the DOJ investigation.”
However, the documents obtained by America First Legal show that the Biden administration was involved in the raid via a “special access request.”
The special access request for access to the records was given to the FBI from the White House on behalf of the Department of Justice (DOJ) — which contradicts what the National Archives told Congress.
America First Legal reported: “Notably, despite the Archives’ claim that it had ‘not been involved in the DOJ investigation,’ the documents show that the Archives’ official responsible for administering all access requests for Presidential records, John Laster, was involved in preparing the 15 boxes for FBI review as late as August 23, 2022.”
The nonprofit went on to cite the National Archives’ false statements from October 25, 2022, in which the Acting Archivist told then-Ranking Members Rep. James Comer (R-KY) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) that “NARA received the 15 boxes from President Trump on January 18, 2022, and then discovered that they contained classified national security information. Shortly after the discovery, NARA consulted with its Office of Inspector General (OIG), which operates independently of NARA. As DOJ has disclosed publicly in court filings, NARA’s OIG subsequently referred the matter to DOJ on February 9, 2022.”
However, that claim was quickly refuted by America First Legal, who noted: “If the OIG acted independently in making a referral to the FBI, then Mr. Laster would not have involved himself in the FBI’s review of the 15 boxes in his capacity as the Director of the White House Liaison Division ‘responsible for all access requests for Presidential records.’”
America First Legal went on to refute more claims from the Biden administration.
“Similarly, the FBI affidavit before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida that provided the probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant against Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022, stated, ‘[on February 9, 2022] the Special Agent in Charge of NARA’s Office of the Inspector General sent the NARA Referral via email to DOJ,’” the nonprofit noted, adding: “However, the evidence is that the Biden White House and the Department of Justice coordinated to obtain the Trump records, and perhaps create a pretext for a law enforcement raid, by way of a ‘special access request.’”
“This stunning revelation suggests that NARA was misleading Congress about the White House’s role in the shocking raid of President Trump’s home, and the fact that the Biden White House was acting ‘on behalf of’ the DOJ raises significant legal concerns,” America First Legal explained. “The special access statute authorizes special access requests to an incumbent president only when the records in question are needed for ‘the conduct of current business’ of the White House. Providing documents to the DOJ for purposes of a criminal investigation is not the ‘current business’ of the White House.”
/1 🚨THREAD — records obtained from our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Mar-a-Lago raid further confirm that the FBI obtained access to these records through a “special access request” from the Biden White House on behalf of the DOJ.https://t.co/JapM7ZFq4k pic.twitter.com/O9fne5qRD1
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) April 10, 2023
In a statement, Reed D. Rubinstein — senior counselor and director of oversight and investigations — blasted the Biden administration for their role in the unprecedented FBI raid of the home of a former president.
“The evidence further suggests that Biden officials in the Executive Office of the President and the Department of Justice unlawfully abused their power and then lied about it to the American people,” the statement read. “This government, it seems, acknowledges no limits on its power to harass, intimidate, and silence its political opponents.”
President Joe Biden just got caught in another lie!!
Thanks to @America1stLegal, we now know the Biden White House made a special request regarding the documents at former President Donald Trump's Florida home.
AFL's Reed Rubinstein joined @EmeraldRobinson to discuss! pic.twitter.com/tpe1FVP1Qo
— The Absolute Truth with @EmeraldRobinson (@AbsoluteWithE) April 11, 2023
America First Legal has vowed to continue their investigation of the scandal.