Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has provided the National Archives with texts and emails that had not been previously submitted, and even though their own unnamed sources say one thing has nothing to do with the other, CNN, in a story that has been picked up by multiple left-leaning media outlets, is suggesting he did so as a result of the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
At question is Meadows’s timing. He reportedly relinquished the communications to the Archives within a week of the FBI’s seizure of boxes full of documents, government photographs, clothing, gift items, empty folders, and, allegedly, classified documents from Trump’s residence on August 8.
That is evidently enough to spark carefully-worded suggestions of conspiracy, even as CNN admits, “The records Meadows turned over to the Archives were not classified, and the situation is markedly different from the Archives’ efforts to retrieve federal records from Trump and its referral to the Justice Department earlier this year when classified materials were discovered among documents the agency retrieved from Mar-a-Lago.”
“It could be a coincidence, but within a week of the August 8 search on Mar-a-Lago, much more started coming in,” a source familiar with the discussions told CNN, implying that former Trump advisors were rushing to shield themselves from either an authoritarian raid of their own homes or from the materials the FBI discovered in Trump’s residence.
Jim Jordan confirms text sent to Meadows, but spokesman for Jan 6 panel admits Schiff doctored it https://t.co/gbxauKQxKj
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) December 16, 2021
The same source stated that the Archives believes Meadows is cooperative but added that the process got off to a slow start.
“‘This is how it’s supposed to work,’ the source added, saying it was not the kind of situation that needed to be referred to the Justice Department,” CNN reports. “Another person familiar with the matter said the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago had nothing to do with Meadows’ decision to turn over the materials to the Archives, as it was a separate discussion.”
CNN then used more anonymous sources to characterize Meadows’ position as “awkward.”
“Still, it’s an awkward position for Trump’s former chief of staff to be in, as Meadows also has been engaged in efforts to get Trump to return documents to the National Archives since last year, sources tell CNN,” the outlet writes. “Meadows is one of Trump’s designees to the Archives, and he got involved in the summer of 2021 after being contacted by another designee, former Trump Deputy White House Counsel Pat Philbin.”
“While he was at Mar-a-Lago last summer, Meadows talked with Trump about the documents that the Archives was seeking to have returned, sources said,” CNN continues. “Meadows has continued to work with the Archives in its efforts to recover documents since then, according to the sources.”
In case the seed of division was not yet fully sown, CNN added, “In recent months, Trump has been counseled to cut contact with Meadows, whose actions leading up to and on the day of the US Capitol attack have been deeply scrutinized by the House panel investigating January 6, sources have said. A source close to Trump said that while the former President has not completely cut ties with Meadows, Trump has complained about Meadows in conversations with other allies.”
According to CNN’s source, “Their relationship is not the same as it once was.”
CNN notes that Meadows’ legal team does not believe the requested materials were subject to the Presidential Records Act, but dutifully turned over materials it had already shared with the Jan. 6 House select committee investigation. Upon receiving the request, “Meadows and his lawyers went through his communications and handed over what they thought was covered under the Presidential Records Act, one source said.”
“The law has carveouts detailing what materials do not need to be provided to the Archives, such as messages that were primarily personal or political in nature,” CNN added.
What is interesting about this factual nothing-burger of a story isn’t CNN’s reporting, but the immediate reaction to it on Twitter.
Self-proclaimed “social media slut” Tomi Ahonen somehow took the story to mean Meadows’ surrendered communications contained evidence of all the crimes Trump has allegedly committed.
“As January 6th Committee hearings resume now in September… remember they only had PART of Mark Meadows’s texts,” he tweeted. “Now they get the parts that reveal the crimes.”
“Expect it to be bad, that Mark DECIDED TO HIDE those messages,” he continued, as though he’d not bothered to read the actual story. “But now has flipped against Trump & released them.”
As January 6th Committee hearings resume now in September… remember they only had PART of Mark Meadows's texts. Now they get the parts that reveal the crimes
— Tomi T Ahonen Marching & Singing For Ukraine Today (@tomiahonen) September 3, 2022
And that is the completely baseless narrative that is now being amplified on social media by many accounts with fewer than 500 followers.
Another criminal. https://t.co/4hwKqP1CPw
— bruinsfan197 (@bruinsfan197) September 3, 2022
— lladue (@lladue3) September 3, 2022
And why now, and not earlier? https://t.co/2CtngNlhOE
— Donna McArdle (@trumpsshitstain) September 3, 2022
What’s Steve Bannon got? What about Flynn, Stone, and Boris Epshteyn? (Notice how Boris, a Russian always close to Trump, adjusts name spelling for us?) What have they already shared with foreign and DOMESTIC enemies of the United States? Go git ‘em before they git US. https://t.co/nQPePC8OTZ
— Robin S. Kuykendall (@RobinSKuykenda1) September 3, 2022
We highly doubt it.
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