October 7, 2023

Presidential Records Act On Trump's Side: Former DOJ Official

Gene Hamilton is a former official for the Department of Justice.

When he gives his opinion on the law, America would do well to pay attention.

If you are willing to listen to Hamilton, and you support Donald Trump, then boy have I got some good news for you:

Donald Trump is protected by both the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and the U.S. Constitution in the classified documents case brought by President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.

Hamilton says that there are flaws in all of the indictments brought against Trump lately but had a lot to say about one of Jack Smith's, specifically.

In that particular case, "Special Counsel Jack Smith, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, alleges Trump took classified documents to Mar-a-Lago at the culmination of his presidency."

Hamilton argued that under the Presidential Records Act, Trump was actually allowed to designate whatever White House papers he wants as personal, and therefore take him with him.

Critics of Joe Biden might not love this defense, as this means that Joe Biden should be allowed to do the same.

But, Trump designating the wrong papers as personal is NOT the same as taking federally protected documents from the White House.

The worst case scenario here, under that law, is that Donald Trump made a mistake.

It's usually not illegal to make an honest mistake.

"You hear a lot of arguments, and you see a lot of arguments on social media, and other commentators have rightly pointed out that under the Presidential Records Act, the president gets to decide which records are his and which ones aren’t." I agree "with that principle of statutory interpretation," Hamilton said.

"If you buy the argument that the Presidential Records Act is even constitutional, so where in the Constitution does it say, ‘Oh, and by the way, we also get to decide which papers the president has are his and which ones are not?'" Hamilton continued. "And I think for that reason, any interpretation or application of the Presidential Records Act that says that ‘Oh, Donald Trump didn’t have authorized possession of these papers, of these records, so therefore he can be prosecuted for mishandling them,’ is faulty, it’s unconstitutional."

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