Trump Chief of Staff Burned Documents in a White House Fireplace

That is a crime. So why isn’t Mark Meadows being prosecuted for it?

Among the notable revelations related to the Jan. 6 investigation this week was an unexpected tidbit about Mark Meadows. The New York Times reported that the Republican, who served as Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, used his office fireplace “to burn documents.”

The reporting hasn’t been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, though The Washington Post also reported that some of the witnesses who’ve spoken to the bipartisan select panel “said Meadows used his fireplace to burn documents.”

That should come as no surprise since Trump had a habit of destroying, or stealing, sensitive documents.

During his presidency, Trump was known to tear up papers and throw them in the trash. Aides would scurry to reassemble those papers for archiving, as federal record-keeping laws require.

After leaving the White House, Trump had 15 boxes of documents shipped to Mar-a-Lago. Some of those boxes were marked as classified, according to The Washington Post, and the Justice Department is now investigating the matter. Mishandling classified material is illegal.

It was Trump tradition that dated before entering the White House in 2017:

Donald Trump’s well-known habit of ripping up documents did not stop once he entered the White House, where staff reportedly resorted to taping together piles of shredded paper. But the practice was “far more widespread and indiscriminate than previously known” and extended throughout his four years in office, according to The Washington Post.

The were called “burn bags”

Former president Donald Trump tore up “hundreds” of White House records during his administration — in clear violation of federal law — despite “multiple admonishments,” the Washington Post reported Saturday.

“The documents included briefings and schedules, articles and letters, memos both sensitive and mundane,” the Post reported. “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.”

Trump’s practice of destroying official documents — which has long since been reported — made headlines again this week after the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol insurrection received records from the National Archives that appeared to have been taped back together.

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