Writing for the Atlantic, two former White House officials who served under President Barack Obama stated the Justice Department would not be doing its job if it did not open an investigation into Donald Trump for moving top-secret documents to Mar-a-Lago where he kept them for a year.
According to John Gans and Jon Wolfsthal -- who served as a former senior director at the National Security Council -- transporting the documents to the Florida resort where they sat in boxes was a major breach in the nation's security that needs to be investigated and prosecuted.
Citing the Presidential Records Act, the two wrote, "Everyone from the president down to the most junior federal bureaucrat swears an oath to protect the Constitution and is informed that keeping records is a crime. Many citizens, including those who are in or have left office, have been charged in violation of these rules, their careers destroyed or damaged, some sent to prison," before adding that Trump deserves the same treatment if he broke the law.
"The president has to follow the same rules as anyone else. This is part of why we were infuriated to learn that former President Donald Trump is reported to have removed unique materials from the White House that later had to be recovered from his Mar-a-Lago resort," they wrote. "And it is why we believe that the Department of Justice must investigate Trump for his handling of government records and, if the facts justify it, prosecute him, just as other less prominent Americans have been for similar behavior."
According to the two, no one should underestimate the damage the former president might have done, calling it a "full-blown intelligence scandal."
"This is no longer just a case of removing materials important for historians and accountability. This has morphed into a full-blown intelligence scandal that could undermine both national security now and democratic norms in the future," they explained before adding, "In that way, those 15 boxes represent another of Trump’s blows to democracy. At a time when the rule of law and basic democratic norms are under attack, responding to clear violations of the rules is even more important. If the country does not hold the former president to account for breaking a law, what’s to stop the next one?"
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