National Archives release more documents in response to FOIA requests about Trump’s presidential records

The saga over former President Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of presidential records continues following a brief pause for the midterm elections, as the nation watches to see if President Joe Biden’s Justice Department actually moves forward with criminal charges against his chief political rival.

That has yet to be determined, but the National Archives and Records Administration just released a slew of documents related to the dispute in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Washington Examiner reported.

Questions over NARA and Trump’s records

NARA issued a media alert on Wednesday to announce the public release of additional documents related to the initial 15 boxes of former President Trump’s presidential records that had been kept at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in response to FOIA requests from the media, Congress, and members of the public.

“News reports surrounding the boxes and presence of classified information resulted in dozens of requests for these records from the press, members of Congress and the public,” NARA said. “Today’s release consists of communications between NARA officials related to the 15 boxes. We expect to process more internal communications related to the 15 boxes for release in December.”

The release contained nearly two dozen pages released in full, another 52 pages released with partial redactions, and another 855 relevant pages were withheld from release under various exemptions.

Three batches of FOIA responsive documents

“NARA has received more than 50 FOIA requests seeking records related to the 15 boxes received from Mar-a-Lago,” NARA revealed separately. “To respond most efficiently to these overlapping requests, NARA is processing all related requests in the same manner: identifying categories of records that are commonly requested and organizing its searches and responses by those categories of records.”

“When NARA completes processing of a category of records, it will simultaneously issue a response to all requesters who asked for records pertaining to that subject matter and will post any non-exempt records or discretionary releases here,” the agency added.

The release on Wednesday, dubbed “Category 3a,” consisted largely of emails back and forth between NARA officials and were in regard to the agency’s handling of media inquiries about the 15 boxes of records that Trump’s people had returned to NARA in January.

Previously, on Oct. 3, NARA had released two batches of documents in response to FOIA requests — “Category 1,” which contained emails between NARA and Trump’s representatives, and “Category 2,” which involved emails between NARA and other “outside entities” such as members of Congress and journalists.

Will Biden’s DOJ indict rival Trump?

Meanwhile, the Examiner noted that it currently remains unclear if or when President Biden’s DOJ will move forward with charges against his hated rival, former President Trump, and pointed out that any potential moves in that regard could be delayed until all of the midterm elections, including run-off races, are complete and finalized, so as to avoid the perception of political interference.

Trump could potentially be charged criminally under three different statutes, one of which involves the “willful retention of national defense information,” another of which deals with the “concealment or removal” of federal records, with the final possible charge being related to “obstruction” of a federal investigation.

The former president, of course, has strenuously insisted that he did nothing wrong and is being subjected to yet another partisan “witch hunt” against him, and could throw a complicating wrinkle in the whole matter by officially declaring his candidacy for 2024 before a formal indictment is issued.

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