‘He never stopped ripping things up’: Inside Trump’s relentless document destruction habits

…from the Washington Post

[ Editor’s Note: Now we learn that the Presidential Archives Act has no enforcement provisions. It seems it was just generally assumed that all presidents would comply without the threat of penalties…until Trump came along.

The shrinks all spotted the mental state of this guy early on, that he was going to make presidential history in a unique way, but just not in the positive vein that was historically expected.

Here is the problem that none officially seems to want to face.

Especially for high offices with security clearances, what’s up with this no deep background checks for politicians running for important offices? Think about it for a moment. If any group should have to undergo a deep background check, it is political people. And no, I am not being cute. It’s a no brainer.

It seems that politicians as a group have had no interest in requiring this of their club. Imagine that. So Jim Dean thinks now is the perfect time to put that issue on the front burner, along with having a National Archives staff person assigned to the Whitehouse managing the safety of presidential archives from future Rippers and Shredders.

If we do not do this, then we deserve what we get, as Trump has really lowered the bar on presidential behavior. We may need to think about a whole list of things we can defensively do to prevent enduring another Trump.

Something tells me that the Banana Republicans will not be interested, which is fine. They can wear that shame in every campaign, where it should be brought up in the debates. Thus ends my cheery missive for todayJim W. Dean ]

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First published February 7, 2022

President Donald Trump tore up briefings and schedules, articles and letters, memos both sensitive and mundane. He ripped paper into quarters with two big, clean strokes — or occasionally more vigorously, into smaller scraps.

He left the detritus on his desk in the Oval Office, in the trash can of his private West Wing study and on the floor aboard Air Force One, among many other places.

And he did it all in violation of the Presidential Records Act, despite being urged by at least two chiefs of staff and the White House counsel to follow the law on preserving documents.

“It is absolutely a violation of the act,” said Courtney Chartier, president of the Society of American Archivists. “There is no ignorance of these laws. There are White House manuals about the maintenance of these records.”

…“He didn’t want a record of anything,” a former senior Trump official said. “He never stopped ripping things up. Do you really think Trump is going to care about the records act? Come on.”

…“The biggest takeaway I have from that behavior is it reflects a conviction that he was above the law,” said presidential historian Lindsay Chervinsky. “He did not see himself bound by those things.”

You can read the full Washington Post article here.


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  1. I hate to be a party pooper, but just exactly who are we to believe in these background checks? Who will run them, that can be trusted and who will vet them? Any background checks will be validated by the same bunch that are being looked at. More than likely, any such procedure will be as corrupted as any other law regarding CONgress. After all, who would mandate any such rule? A person who is investigated could be black-balled with fake allegations as well…it would be just another tool in their armory. What part of our gov is beyond reproach and to be trusted? It would likely be another fox guarding the henhouse scenario wherein the fox would be given the keys.

  2. I don’t ever remember a word of the idea ever even being posed. Yet there is a huge list of gov jobs that require background checks, so why would political people be given a free pass. There is really no logical explanation for it. If they complained, the answer would be, “then you don’t have to run for office if you are concerned about the background check”. With Pols having no background checks, that makes them the “go to” people for foreign Intel people. Look what the Israelis have been able to do with them, turning Congress into a Swiss Cheese of leak and espionage avenues.

    • Remember, Trump is first and foremost a New York mobster. He’s used to covering his tracks and skirting the law. That’s why he was so reluctant to give the Southern District of New York his tax returns. Notice how Cyrus Vance is just sitting on his hands and not prosecuting Trump for a multitude of crimes? Notice how Merrick Garland is doing the same thing? They’re both waiting for the other shoe to drop. The future doesn’t look good for the USA as we know it, Jim.

    • It makes sense particularly if on Intelligence committees, or in any position to do with defense.
      They do get scrutinized these days pretty heavy by their own campaign advisors, and opposition, but that is to get out front and erase the bad history,.. The opposite of what a background check would be !!
      To operate with the intent to avoid and conceal, what a background check would produce !

    • Tommy, I doubt Garland is sitting on his hands. It is a huge investigation, the most historical in US history. The Trumpers and Repubs will of course scream it is a political persecution if top level indictments begin. They tested the waters with posing the Jan6 Insurrectionists as ‘protestors’, which some of them were, but none of them were arrested because they did not do anything to get arrested for. What the Repubs are sweating is the revelation that Trump had a 100 Congressmen on board doing a 24 hour verbal filibuster to run out the certification clock to get the election thrown back to the states. That made those 100 all co-insurrectionists. So think about what a huge prosecution that could be for the DoJ just logistically. I think Garland has a ton of wire taps in progress and he wants the targets to keeps discussing their Insurrection Two.

  3. “Above the law”
    Whose law?
    This is from the United Nations — Treaty Series 1947-
    “ANNEX 1 The area referred to in Section 1, (a) (1) consists of:
    (a) the premises bounded on the East by the westerly side of Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, on the West by the easterly side of First Avenue, on the North by the southerly side of East Forty-Eighth Street, and on the South by the northerly side of East Forty-Second Street, all as proposed to be widened, in the borough of Manhattan, City and State of New York, and (b) an easement over Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, above a lower limiting plane to be fixed for the construction and maintenance of an esplanade, together with the structures thereon and foundations and columns to support the same in locations below such limiting plane, the entire area to be more definitely defined by supplemental agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America”
    means the UN took over all of New York City. The agreement Annex 1 allows the UN Headquarters District to “WIDEN” the UN Headquarter “district” to the borough of Manhattan, the City of New York including the State of New York.
    So New York City is the Fourth Sovereign City-State, the other three being Vatican City, City of London, and Washington DC.
    Trump has a New York City Birth Certificate, technically making him not born in the 50 states, even though NYC is legally the State of New York.

    Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, UK MP, was also born in NY.

  4. Excellent point about background checks. It is actually incredible to think as a former fuel truck driver working the flight line, that in order to perform that task, former teachers and classmates were asked intimate details about my childhood, but the guy who can push the button, just moseys on in with a gang of hoodlums and waivers everything. Been going on for a while.
    The first we heard about the Trump archive issue was early on , first year I think, when the two guys who got fired from the archives made the media rounds describing the ripping.
    The powers of the executive branch need to be clipped, and the best one to do it is sitting in the chair. I am not holding my breath,… I suppose anything is possible, but not likely.. We only need one honest president….to set the precedent.

    • Your background check revealed your character for qualifying you as a driver of a big rig with no system of checks and balances. His background check would only reveal the obvious which in retrospect during the campaign it was all exposed but since supposedly half of the inbreds voted for that filthy character they saw, that makes it okay.
      Plus you didn’t have five dozen ambulance chasers living with you.

    • The background checks are not job specific. Anyone who works on the flight line needs at least a basic clearance.

    • The need for the backgroundf checks is a no-brainer. And the reason they are no being done is a no-brainer. Those in power want their power base to not be decimated via backgound checks. And lastly top law enforcment and Intel has to know this, as its a no-brainer, but they are mum. Think of Israeli espionage here. If I could interview the FBI director on the history of its busting up Zionist espionage here, how many case could he show me that they are on top of it all. I would bet a $1 that in the past two decades it is zero. Nothing comes on up Google.

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