The U.S. National Archives responded to a claim made by former President Donald Trump that former President Barack Obama had taken 30 million pages of documents from the White House.
Trump made the claim while defending himself after the FBI performed a search warrant at his residence in Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday.
Ahead of the release of the warrant on Friday, Trump assailed the FBI and implied that Obama had committed far worse offenses.
“What happened to the 30 million pages of documents taken from the White House to Chicago by Barack Hussein Obama?” wrote Trump. “He refused to give them back! What is going on? This act was strongly at odds with NARA. Will they be breaking into Obama’s ‘mansion’ in Martha’s Vineyard?”
A statement from the National Archives addressed Trump’s claims.
“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the archives wrote.
“Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area,” the statement continued. “As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”
The warrant was unsealed by a U.S. federal judge and revealed what was taken by the FBI at Trump’s residence. The list of items taken from the residence lists 11 sets of classified documents, and several documents listed as “top secret.” The warrant also indicated that Trump was being investigated for a potential violation of the Espionage Act.
The search at Trump’s residence was conducted on Monday morning and was confirmed by the former president in a scathing statement he released later that evening. The former president’s supporters have accused the FBI of being politically motivated, but his critics hailed the development as being long overdue.
After facing criticism about the raid, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Thursday that he had signed off on the search warrant and said that the Department of Justice would ask a federal judge to unseal the order.
The former president then released a statement declaring that he would not fight the unsealing of the search warrant but would actively seek for it to be unsealed.
Defenders of the former president argue the power of the president to declassify any documents exonerates him, but critics say there is a process to declassify those documents that the former president didn’t appear to follow.
Here’s more about the Mar-a-Lago search warrant:
WSJ: FBI took 11 sets of classified docs from Mar-a-Lago