Former President Donald Trump lashed out at his predecessor in a statement Friday, accusing former President Barack Obama of keeping “many” classified documents after he left the White House in 2017.
Mr. Trump insisted the documents seized in the raid at his Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this week had already been declassified and safely secured. Then he turned his ire on Mr. Obama, indicating the Justice Department uses a double standard when it comes to Democrats.
“What are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago,” Mr. Trump asked in a statement.
It was the latest shot Mr. Trump took against his predecessor, blasting him in multiple Truth Social posts on Thursday. In one post, Mr. Trump claimed that Mr. Obama refused to give the documents back. In another post, he claimed several of the materials allegedly taken by Mr. Obama involved nuclear information.
When Mr. Obama departed the White House, tens of thousands of documents were shipped to a federal government facility, where they will be housed until his presidential library is built. It is unclear if any of the documents were classified.
At the end of his presidency, Mr. Obama sent the documents to the National Archives and Records Administration, as required by federal law, according to media reports at that time.
In a statement Friday, the National Archives disputed Mr. Trump’s claim, saying they assumed legal and physical custody of Mr. Obama’s records in compliance with the Presidential Records Act. The 1978 law requires presidents and their staff to turn over all documents, including confidential materials, to the National Archives at the end of their presidency.
“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 agency said in a statement.
“Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration,” the statement continued.