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‘He never stopped ripping things up’: Inside Trump’s relentless document destruction habits

Washington Post – “Trump’s shredding of paper in the White House was far more widespread and indiscriminate than previously known and — despite multiple admonishments — extended throughout his presidency. President Donald Trump tore up briefings and schedules, articles and letters, memos both sensitive and mundane. He ripped paper into quarters with two big, clean strokes — or occasionally more vigorously, into smaller scraps. He left the detritus on his desk in the Oval Office, in the trash can of his private West Wing study and on the floor aboard Air Force One, among many other places. And he did it all in violation of the Presidential Records Act, despite being urged by at least two chiefs of staff and the White House counsel to follow the law on preserving documents. “It is absolutely a violation of the act,” said Courtney Chartier, president of the Society of American Archivists. “There is no ignorance of these laws. There are White House manuals about the maintenance of these records.” Although glimpses of Trump’s penchant for ripping were reported earlier in his presidency — by Politico in 2018 — the House select committee’s investigation into the Jan. 6 insurrection has shined a new spotlight on the practice. The Washington Post reported that some of the White House records the National Archives and Records Administration turned over to the committee appeared to have been torn apart and then taped back together…”

See also from the Washington Post: “National Archives had to retrieve Trump White House records from Mar-a-Lago. The recovery of multiple boxes from Trump’s Florida resort, including letters from Barack Obama and Kim Jong Un, underscores the previous administration’s cavalier handling of presidential records..”

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