(…) It is not merely NARA’s referral to the DOJ and Ferriero’s apparent bias that suggests a political motive, however: It is the reality that even if the documents were classified, Trump has the right to access them and NARA could have worked with the former president to set up a secure location for his presidential papers, which is precisely what Ferriero and the NARA did with Barack Obama.
In 2016, before President Obama left office, he rented a private facility in Hoffman Estates to serve as a storage place for his presidential papers, and by October of 2016, while he was still in office, shipments of artifacts from his presidency began arriving at the suburban Chicago storage facility. A year later, the Chicago Tribune reported that after the National Archives and Records Administration had worked with the former Democrat president to ship his documents to the Chicago suburb, where they were stored and kept secured, Obama decided not to retain a paper archive at his presidential museum, “meaning they would be shipped back to Washington once a decision [was] made on where to keep them permanently.”
The Obama documents — both classified and unclassified — remained in Hoffman Estates well into 2018, as evidenced by a letter of intent executed between Ferriero on behalf of the National Archives Trust Fund and the Obama Foundation. Among other things, the letter of intent memorialized the Obama Foundation’s agreement to “transfer up to three million three hundred thousand dollars ($3,300,000) to the National Archives Trust Fund (NATF) to support the move of classified and unclassified Obama Presidential records and artifacts from Hoffman Estates to NARA-controlled facilities that conform to the agency’s archival storage standards for such records and artifacts.”
The only difference between the Hoffman Estates’ storage of the Obama presidential records that began in 2016 and the Mar-a-Lago storage of Trump’s presidential records was that the documents were technically within the possession of NARA. But even though the documents were legally the property of NARA, Obama still had the right to access the records, including the classified documents.
So if upon receiving the 15 boxes of documents back from Trump, NARA had legitimate concerns about the security of Mar-a-Lago — a strange worry to hold given that the Secret Service must safeguard the location to protect Trump and his family — a bureaucracy committed to the country and safeguarding her artifacts would have worked to arrange for the documents to be preserved under the auspices of NARA control in a location chosen by Trump, as it had done with Obama.” (Read more: The Federalist, 8/15/2022) (Archive)
Upon further investigation by Matt Margolis at PJ Media, 9/22/2022:
“The Obama Foundation stored classified documents in an abandoned furniture warehouse, according to a 2018 letter from the Obama Foundation to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The letter, available on the Obama Foundation website and dated Sept. 11, 2018, reveals that the Obama Foundation not only acknowledged possessing classified documents but also admitted that they kept them in a facility that did not meet NARA standards for the storage of those documents.
Media reports confirm that the Obama Foundation had rented space from Hoffman Estates to store these documents, and extended their original lease for four more years back in August.
“While no firm date has been announced for the completion and opening of the Barack Obama Presidential Library near the University of Chicago, its future contents will stay in Hoffman Estates for four more years,” the Daily Herald reported. “Village board members unanimously approved an extension to the special-use permit that enables landlord Hoffman Estates Medical Development LLC to lease the 74,200-square-foot former Plunkett Furniture store at 2500 W. Golf Road to the National Archives and Records Administration through Dec. 31, 2026.”
This means that, as the debate over the supposedly classified documents at Mar-a-Lago is unfolding, the Obama Foundation is, at this very moment, storing classified documents in unused retail space in the suburbs of Chicago.” (Read more: PJ Media, 9/22/2022) (Archive)