A “special access request” email obtained by America First Legal allegedly reveals that the Biden White House was involved in the raid of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, the Daily Caller reported.
In January last year, the National Archives received 15 boxes of records from the former president after requesting that he turn over the White House documents still in his possession. Suspecting that Trump failed to turn over everything, on August 8, 2022, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the documents.
At the time, White House staff were reportedly surprised by the news of the raid. But the email obtained by America First Legal shows that the Justice Department made a “special access request” to the National Archives via the White House to review the 15 boxes of documents.
In the internal National Archives emails, National Archives general counsel Gary Stern said the DOJ, “via the Biden White House,” made a special access request.
According to America First Legal, this indicates that the White House coordinated with the Justice Department to review the documents returned to the National Archives as a way to “create a pretext” for the August 8 raid.
This coordination using a special access request raises legal questions since the statute for special access is limited to records that are necessary for conducting the “current business of the White House.” Providing documents to the Justice Department for the purpose of a criminal investigation does not fall under “current business,” America First Legal explained.
In a statement to the Daily Caller, the National Archives argued that a special access request “authorizes Executive branch agencies,” including the Justice Department, to make a request “through the sitting President.”
The National Archives told the Daily Caller that if it provides records through a special access request, the National Archives is not involved in the work of those making the request or any related investigations.