REVEALED: Donald Trump left Joe Biden GRACIOUS good luck note in White House as catalog of blunders that led to FBI Mar-a-Lago espionage raid is revealed
- The final days of the Trump administration were reportedly chaotic and led to blunders in document handling that resulted in the Mar-a-Lago raid
- Despite the chaos and unfounded claims that the election was stolen, Trump still left behind a traditional presidential letter for Joe Biden
- Biden read over Trump’s handwritten letter, commenting to an aide that he was surprised by the graciousness of it, although its contents haven’t been revealed
- Officials said they were aware that Trump retaining the documents in his Florida residence was a problem, but little appeared to be done about it
- Among the key items officials wanted to retrieve were letters to Trump from Kim Jong-un and the letter Barack Obama left behind for his successor
Donald Trump left a ‘gracious’ letter behind for Joe Biden after leaving the White House, it has been revealed, as aides shared the catalog of chaos that culminated in last week’s Mar-a-Lago raid.
Sources and notes detailing the last four days of the Trump presidency revealed that upon entering the Oval Office, newly elected president Joe Biden found a letter waiting for him from his predecessor, The New York Times reported.
The letter was reportedly handwritten by Trump himself on two large pages, with Biden remarking to an aide that the former president ‘had been more gracious in the letter than he had anticipated.’
Its contents have not been revealed, but the letter will be among the first records Biden will have to turn over to the National Archives when he leaves the White House.
Aides say it was the very same process that landed Trump in trouble with the FBI, after attempts by the National Archive to retrieve the note Barack Obama had left for Trump, as well as correspondence with Kim Jong un, sparked a wider probe into the removal of classified documents.
It’s a process that has landed Trump in the midst of a FBI investigation, following a series of blunders that resulted in a failure to turn over two dozen boxes of documents, leading to a raid on his Mar-a-Lago home.
The final days of the Trump Administration were reportedly chaotic and led to blunders resulting in the Mar-a-Lago raid. Despite the chaos and unfounded claims that the election was stolen, Trump still left behind a traditional letter for Joe Biden
Biden (pictured on Inauguration Day) read over Trump’s handwritten letter, commenting to an aide that he was surprised by the graciousness of it
With the exit of senior officials and Trump’s alleged conflict with his counsel, two dozen boxes of White House documents ended up in Mar-a-Lago, leading to an FBI raid on August 8
Sources told the Times that in the hurry to leave the White House, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows assured aides that he would ensure the administration complied with the regulations to leave the documents for the National Archive.
They noted, however, that Trump seemed more focused on ‘pushing through last-minute pardons’ as he ignored the transition of power while repeating unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
Although the White House Counsel’s Office said it warned Meadows that the two dozen boxes needed to be turned in, which included document’s marked ‘highly classified’ and letters from Korean leader Kim Jong-un, they ended up in Mar-a-Lago instead.
Under the Presidential Records Act, which governs the handling of records created in the Oval Office, every document generated essentially belongs to taxpayers and must be submitted to the National Archives.
Donald McGahn, Trump’s first White House Counsel, had instituted a protocol for the handling of materials and had given presentations on the law to staff members, former officials told the Times.
They added that several conversations were had about following the 2020 loss about sending someone to collect the documents that had been building up in Trump’s estate.
During the final days of the administration, White House Counsel Pat Cippolle and his deputy, Patrick Philbin, ‘were keenly aware that [Trump’s] handling of documents was a potential problem,’ the Times reported.
Despite the worries, it was unclear how much sway Cippolle had with Trump, as former officials allege the ex-president often berated the attorney for his objections to the election fraud claims.
Along with the reported breakdown between Cippolle and Trump, White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons, who managed the paperwork in the Oval Office, stepped down on December 18, 2020, just a month before the big exit.
This left Meadows with no executive to help ease the transfer of power that Trump wanted no part of.
Despite Meadow’s efforts to have everything set by the time Trump left office in January 2021, officials with the National Archives realized early on that significant materials were missing.
The archivists were particularly keen on getting back letters sent to the president from Kim Jong-Un and a letter Barack Obama left behind for Trump at the start of his presidency, both of which are considered to have significant historical value.
The chaos in preparing for the transition of power was reportedly made worse after White House Staff Secretary Derek Lyons, who managed the paperwork in the Oval Office, stepped down on December 18, 2020. Pictured: Documents being moved from the White House in January 2021
Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence (center) said he did not remove any classified material after serving his term
Although National Archive officials pushed Trump’s lawyers to get the records back, they didn’t get what they wanted until they went directly to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve 15 boxes of materials in January 2022.
The archivists who collected the documents also told Trump’s team that they did not preserve social media records or records of official business conducted on electronic messaging accounts while in the White House, the Times reported.
The officials referred the matter to the Justice Department, who questioned Cippollone and Philbin, along with Trump lawyer Scott Gast.
While Trump’s team fumbled in prepping for the smooth transition of power, former Vice President Mike Pence had the exact opposite experience.
His chief of staff Marc Short and counsel Greg Jacobs oversaw a complete indexing and boxing up of all of Pence’s government documents, three former officials with knowledge of their work told the Times.
Their quick and efficient work had only one goal, sources said: ‘ensuring that Mr. Pence left office without a single paper that did not belong to him.’
Pence, asked directly if he had retained any classified information upon leaving office, told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday, ‘No, not to my knowledge.’
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