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What charges could Trump face for deleting White House records?

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New York — Donald Here's a rundown of the legal troubles Donald Trump may face after Trump removed the president's official records from the White House.

What we know about the investigation .

The National Archives informed Congress in February that he had recovered 15 boxes of White House documents from Mar-a-Lago. It contained classified material. The Justice Department opened an investigation into their dismissal, he said in April.

Trump's son Eric told Fox his news on Monday that the FBI's search for him was for documents the National Archives was looking for. Reuters was unable to learn the details of the documents cited by Eric Trump.

Donald Trump said on Monday that a "raid" was "neither necessary nor appropriate." He said he is cooperating with relevant government agencies. A spokeswoman for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

How should the president handle records?

Several federal laws limit what a former president can do with documents during his tenure. Many carry felony penalties.

The Presidential Records Act states that official documents, from briefings and minutes to e-mails, texts, and handwritten notes, prepared or received by the President or his aides, are the property of the United States and are the property of the President. stipulates that it is not the personal property of president.

By law, the National Archives is responsible for handling presidential records.

What are Trump's defenses when charged?

The Presidential Records Act excludes from retention requirements documents that are "purely private or non-public in nature," including materials related to the president's own campaign. The documents taken could be claimed exonerated. rice field.

But the law does govern how the president can seek exemption from the National Archives for certain types of records, said Jennifer, a former federal prosecutor and partner at law firm Saul Ewing. Bidel said.

"Even if he has questions or concerns, he must follow the procedures," Bidel said.

What claims could be trump cards?

Although the Presidential Records Act does not provide for an enforcement mechanism, removing presidential records from the White House could indict Trump for conspiracy to interfere with the proper functioning of the National Archives. said Associate Professor Jeffrey Cohen. Boston College Law School and former federal prosecutor.

He also advocated a law, known by code number 2071, which criminalized the concealment or destruction of US public records, or made it unlawful to steal or damage government property. You may be prosecuted under applicable laws.

Even if the search warrant involved Trump's handling of public documents, he could be charged with other crimes, former federal prosecutor Mitchell Epner said. Trump faces other possible legal entanglements, including an investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol.

"Once the government begins examining seized documents, it will no longer have to turn a blind eye to evidence of other crimes," Epner said.

What if the document is classified?

Federal law makes it illegal to intentionally remove confidential documents to unauthorized locations. A source familiar with the matter confirmed to Reuters that the FBI probe appears to be related to President Trump's removal of classified records from the White House.

The president has broad powers to declassify the documents, raising the possibility that Trump could have done so before the records were brought to Mar-a-Lago.

But he could face charges under laws against unauthorized possession of defense information, whether classified or not, said the former federal prosecutor, a law firm. said David Aaron of Perkins Coie.

What precedents exist?

No former president has faced criminal charges for mishandling records. High-profile officials who have faced similar charges include former CIA Director David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to providing classified information to a mistress who was writing his biography in 2015. He was sentenced to on his two-year probation and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.

Samuel Berger, former US President Bill Clinton's national security adviser, was fined、機密資料の無許可の削除と保持に対して有罪を認めました。彼は more than $50,000 in 2005 and was given 100 hours of community service and his two He was sentenced to a year's probation.

Trump could be locked out of office in the future.

The 2071 statute stipulates that convicted persons are barred from holding federal government offices and face up to three years in prison.

But experts said the provision may not be constitutional. The U.S. Constitution establishes eligibility to hold federally elected office, and previous Supreme Court decisions ruled that Congress cannot restrict who can run for president, the Senate, or the House.

If convicted and disqualified, Mr. Trump will likely challenge it in court, but the outcome is uncertain.

(Reported by Luc Cohen, New York) additional reporting by Steve Holland and Daniel Fastenberg, Washington; editing by Howard Goller)