Secret Obama Memo Challenges Trump’s Indictment on Classified Documents

by Jessica
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Obama

A secret memo from the Obama era has emerged, potentially challenging the foundation of the federal charges levied against former President Donald Trump regarding the possession of classified documents.

The memo, discovered by the conservative watchdog group America First Legal, could reshape the narrative around Trump’s indictment, raising questions about the authority he had over classified materials during his presidency.

The controversy stems from an indictment in June by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who charged Trump with 37 federal counts related to the storage of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

The charges included 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information and six other process crimes tied to conversations with his lawyer, as reported by Raw Story on Tuesday, January 30, 2024.

In a superseding indictment in July, three additional charges were added, intensifying the legal scrutiny on Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified information.

America First Legal’s recent filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request against the Defense Department aims to unearth more information about a secretive committee established by Barack Obama in the aftermath of a 2014 breach by Russian hackers into the Executive Office of the President’s network.

This committee, known as the Presidential Information Technology Committee (PITC), plays a pivotal role in the unfolding drama surrounding Trump’s indictment.

The PITC was created to address the security breach and included representatives from key government departments, such as Defense and Homeland Security.

Its significance in the present context lies in the presumption it establishes regarding the President’s control over information.

According to the PITC memo, the President is presumed to control all information received, creating an exclusive domain over information resources and systems provided to the President.

This presumption extends to information stored on PITC networks, making it particularly relevant to Trump’s case.

The memo effectively establishes that information contained in these systems is classified as “EOP information,” reinforcing the President’s exclusive control over the information he receives.

This aspect becomes crucial in understanding what a President may reasonably believe about the information given to them while in office.

America First Legal argues that the PITC memo could potentially create a reasonable belief in President Trump that he had the authority to possess and retain classified documents.

This contention challenges the core of Jack Smith’s indictment, which claims that Trump was not authorized to have such documents.

If the memo indeed influenced Trump’s beliefs about his authority, it could significantly impact the evidentiary support relied upon in the indictment and subsequent prosecution.

Moreover, the watchdog group raises concerns about the disclosure of evidence to the former President.

If information stored on the PITC network formed the basis for Smith’s prosecution, the group argues that this evidence should have been disclosed to Trump.

Failure to do so may have implications for Trump’s liability and the validity of the charges brought against him.

These revelations align with America First Legal’s broader stance that the President of the United States has absolute authority over presidential papers, a position articulated in their whitepaper.

According to their argument, neither Congress nor federal courts have the lawful power to abrogate or limit this authority.

As the legal drama unfolds, the emergence of the secret Obama memo adds a new layer of complexity to the case against Trump.

The American people are now left awaiting the truth behind this memo and its potential impact on one of the most high-profile legal battles involving a former President.

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