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Why You Won’t See the Susan Rice Unmasking Papers: They’re in Obama’s Library

Documents related to the unmasking of Trump advisors by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice have been shipped off to Barack Obama’s presidential library, where they will no doubt gather dust and possibly flammable liquids.

According to a Judicial Watch statement issued Monday:

Judicial Watch today announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library.

Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch:

Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.

So it looks like the Trump NSC is saying that they couldn’t hand over the documents anyway. And I don’t know that there is anything nefarious about putting them in the library, it may be standard operating procedure. But Judicial Watch is considering a suit.

“Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.”

It appears, though, that copies of the records should also be in the National Archives. According to the Smithsonian:

In 1955, Congress passed the Presidential Libraries Act, which officially established a system of privately created and federally maintained libraries. But the original act had a flaw—it didn’t require that a president had to donate official papers to the Archives. That meant that there was nothing stopping a former president from deciding not to give up certain papers. That issue came to a head in 1974, when Richard Nixon resisted handing over some 3,700 hours of tape recordings that he had made in the White House—tapes that included the dirt on Watergate.

To prevent a similar situation playing out in the future, President Jimmy Carter signed the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which mandated that a president’s official papers must be turned over to the National Archives.

Either way, looks like the Obama folks did what they wanted to do and knew they could cover their tracks.

24 Responses to Why You Won’t See the Susan Rice Unmasking Papers: They’re in Obama’s Library

  1. Obama still doing all he can to take this country down. Cheaters cheat…..

    Law suit – do it , make them hand them over!

  2. Why bother? So the President and his minions spied on Repubs to see what they were up to and kept that info a secret- OK, now what?
    Is Rice going to face a Grand Jury, a FBI investigation, does she need to hire a gaggle of high-end lawyers – uh, no.
    It’s the age of spying with the modern invention of digital and electronic gadgets.
    Certain police departments have gizmos that can see through walls, can intercept cell phone calls, can follow a suspect’s vehicle with drones or satellite power.

    Move on. Let’s get some work done in DC besides throwing stones at each other.

    • How do you expect to get some work done with an obstructive Congress of both Democrats and Republicans who can only focus on the Russian bugaboo?

  3. If Trump appointed a special prosecutor to look at all of these issues, the prosecutor would have the right to subpoena all these records. Why he doesn’t do something like this remains a mystery to me

  4. Yet another example of the utter corruption of the Obama phenomenon. And a Hillary Administration would have, like a tag team, happily carried that corruption for years to come.

    • Congress can get those papers. But it’s a Republican Congress and we will get a shrug, sigh, “whatcha’ gonna do?”. Moving on to what we’re going to do on our month long vaykay….

      • Presidential papers are locked up under the complete control of the Archivist for an initial period of five years (minimum) and up to 12 years upon request and approval of the Archivist. I’m not sure even the Congress has access to them during that time without the approval of the Archivist (not sure, just dunno). Apparently, the Archivist has some leeway as to who can see the records during the period of restriction. The law (44 U.S. Code § 2204 – Restrictions on access to Presidential records) doesn’t seem to give anyone, even the Congress, willful or automatic access to the records before the initial five year period of “no access” or up to the 12 year extended period. For sure, Obama’s people will try to extend the restricted access for the full 12 years. They have a LOT to hide and they don’t want their upcoming fantastical version of Obama’s reign tarnished by actual facts and records.

        Here’s the pertinent law. Maybe you’ll see something I didn’t catch in all the legal gobbledygook.

  5. Someone should leak that there is definitive proof that Donald Trump himself colluded with the Russians in the Susan Rice documents. There was a secret meeting of high level Trump Administration officials with Putin’s high level staff at Mar a largo. Adam Schiff himself would walk them out of the archives or wherever they are stashed and leak them to the NYT.

    Of course it’s nefarious. Obama is the King of inaccessible information. Transparency is a foreign word to that Administration.

    So, the Presidential Records Act sends it to the Archives. The information is accessible in five years if I understand this correctly.

    If there is a way for Congress to get these documents then it should be done. But, of course, this is a Republican Congress and at best, there will be a shrug and a sigh.

    So, I am all for Judicial Watch doing what they can. If we had a functioning government that obeyed the law JW would not have to do this.

    I am sick to death of officials, who are paid by the taxpayers, refusing to testify, being held in contempt of Congress and never being processed, being targeted for impeachment like Koskinen and left to dine in WDC’s finest establishments free as a bird, hiding papers, referring to memos that don’t exist or in the case of Comey and Hillary disappear into the ether,not prosecuting leakers like Comey’s professor buddy or the NYT, committing crimes and not being held accountable like the Lynch/Clinton private plane meeting.

    So, yeah go for it JW.

        • Thanks. Rant at 1:48. Trust me you don’t want to give me license. I am disgusted with the Republicans and given up on them.

          And the Trump Administration, Sessions in particular and the overall reluctance to have a government clean up, is fast approaching the point where I don’t help people who will not help themselves.

  6. I don’t understand is why Trump hasn’t appointed a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary’s time at State, donors to Clinton foundation, possible leaks of classified info, Huma Abedin, etc. Comey and the emails and why he backed off. Clinton, Lynch and the tarmac meeting. The list goes on.

    Seems this would change the national narrative away from 24/7 Russia. Also it would yield actual results.

    All I can guess is that the Clintons have “something” on Trump which he doesn’t want known. Something personal or potentially criminal.

  7. I suggest that The Donald J. Trump Presidential Library be opened tomorrow. Actually it doesn’t have to be opened, it just has to have plans, and a big old secure warehouse. Every day documents too sensitive for the eyes of the American public be sent over and secured for 5 years after the end of the Trump Presidency.

    Or , that Jeff Sessions, and the Republicans in Congress, get off their collective butts and stop this thievery and corruption.

    Sessions can request an injunction and Congress can request access.

  8. Jun2117 Judicial Watch POTUS Trump Can Obtain Susan Rice Unmasking Records From Obama Library
    President of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton said Wednesday on Fox & Friends that President Trump can OBTAIN these records from the Obama Presidential Library because they ARE federal records. The President himself could obtain the records if he were to ask for them. Subpoenas issued by CONGRESS, Special Counsel Mueller, can get them. Stop talking go get the records.