OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
One of former President Donald Trump’s attorneys ripped Joe Biden’s Justice Department during a Monday interview and said that her client was “100 percent” allowed to possess the classified materials he’s been indicted for having.
Christina Bobb told Newsmax that Trump’s authorization comes from the Presidential Records Act while going on to blast the way he’s been treated by the DOJ and FBI compared to President Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence, both of whom also had classified materials in their possession — though as vice presidents they are not covered under the same act.
“The difference in how they handled the raid of Mar-a-Lago versus Joe Biden, it’s night and day difference,” she said.
She then referenced an incident that occurred in August 2022, recounting how she was forced to wait outside Mar-a-Lago for several hours under the scorching Florida sun while the FBI conducted a search inside the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
I was forced to stand outside on the circle drive at Mar-a-Lago in August in Florida in 80, 90-something degree heat for about eight to 10 hours while the FBI went through all of the rooms,” she said.
“Donald Trump was 100% authorized to keep everything he kept. And it was actually the Department of Justice that actually had to return materials because they took things they were not allowed to possess and had to return them,” Bobb noted further.
“President Trump had every right to have possession of those documents. And the only statute that applies to Donald Trump on this is the Presidential Records Act 44 U.S.C. Section 2203 Alpha, which specifically says the president and only the president is the one who has authority to make this call,” she told Newsmax.
“I think their case is dead on arrival,” she predicted.
The Presidential Records Act (PRA), codified in 44 U.S.C. Section 2203, is significant legislation that governs the handling of official records belonging to presidents and vice presidents, particularly those generated or received after January 20, 1981.
The act played a crucial role in changing the legal status of presidential records from private to public property, establishing a comprehensive framework for the management of these records.
A fundamental principle of the act is that presidents exercise control over their records. Upon assuming office, a president retains complete authority over their records and has the discretion to determine which records are no longer of administrative, historical, informational, or evidentiary value.
However, before disposing of any records, the president must first consult with the Archivist of the United States to discuss the proposed disposal.
Trump was due in court in Miami late Tuesday morning. He was indicted on 37 counts by special counsel Jack Smith, charges apparently related to his handling of classified materials.
A federal judge overseeing Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday will not allow cameras, phones, or electronic devices into the Miami courtroom.
“The ban was announced late on Monday by the chief judge for the Southern District of Florida, Cecilia M. Altonaga, as the time of the much-awaited appearance of the former president in court quickly approaches. Trump will be arraigned at a Miami court on Tuesday—an appearance that has posed an issue for many broadcasters and networks on how to cover the historic event,” Newsweek reported.
Altonaga wrote in the order that “on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, all cellular phones and/or electronic equipment are hereby prohibited for news reporters and other members of the media inside the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse in Miami.”
CBS News Congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane wrote on Twitter: “There will be no photos. No video. No audio. And no journalists permitted to communicate to the outside world through phone devices (or thru any other technology) during the first ever federal arraignment of a former US President.”