Complicated but clear – The Presidential Records Act

Texas political science professor Emil Ficker today spoke with JournoNews about the Presidential Records Act.

What do you think about the recent FBI raids?

The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act

The Biden-FBI raid is shocking given that presidents determine which documents are classified and which are not. When I was in school, I was taught what happens to presidential papers; I specifically remember what was taught. But listening to this ugly story, it just doesn’t jive with my education. Biden is looking like a third-world dictator going after his opponent.

I have never even imagined something like this. They’re claiming, oh, he might have taken confidential documents, which were his own presidential records. Anybody that knows about the Presidential Records Act knows that, since 1978, presidents control their records; they set up presidential libraries to hold them so the Biden regime’s evidence that Mr Trump may have taken some of his own documents defies logic.

Do U.S. presidents control their papers?

The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act

When President Nixon left office, he sued for control of his papers. Nixon’s protracted legal fight not only confirmed the historical tradition of private ownership of presidential records but has generated an important legacy of constitutional law concerning the presidential prerogatives of the separation of powers and executive privilege. Basically, Nixon and all the president’s after Nixon won. Presidents control their papers.

Nixon was able to block the National Archives from releasing the majority of his White House records. Nixon’s continuing and highly effective lawsuits against the National Archives (until this recent illegal FBI raid on President Trump) settled the question of who really controls the White House materials.

For most of the nation’s history, an outgoing president had personal control over his records. Some presidents took their documents with them; some destroyed them. President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the unprecedented move of donating his to the National Archives so they could be made available to historians and the American public. Of course, we have no way of knowing what presidents destroyed records.

It’s basically impossible for a president (or former president) to violate national security laws. The law CLEARLY states the president owns and controls his presidential papers.”

Why do you refer to the raid as illegal?

I’m not a lawyer, I’m a civil libertarian. There are still some of us who respect the 4th Amendment.

American will learn when the search warrant is released that the search was illegal. First the warrant is looking for opposition research that Mr. Trump did on Biden before and after the 2020 election. The FBI lied to the judge that this was “classified” information and so the warrant isn’t valid. That information would be supposedly used by Mr. Trump in the 2024 election, so It’s not valid in any court in the land.  Second, the search was illegal because warrants but particularly list and give an exact description of the scope and parameters of the search. The warrant does not. It’s entirely vague. Finally, this request for a warrant comes from a group of corrupt FBI agents with a documented history of giving false statements to judges in order to facilitate investigations and warrants. They lied and they lied to get this particular warrant application.

Why did Donald Trump mention Watergate in his initial statement following the raid?

Every political scientist and presidential historian who went to school after the Nixon resignation learns in school about the fight in court over Nixon’s papers after he left office.

The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act

The papers were ruled Nixon’s property and Nixon’s estate was compensated with $18 million after the government wrongly confiscated them.

There was a lot of case law around Nixon’s control of his documents, post-Watergate. There are a lot of precedents. Here, I think this is designed for the shock value, it was designed for the same reason that they raided Roger Stone’s home. They could have contacted his lawyers and told him to turn himself in to face the fabricated charges, but they staged the raids for the drama of it, for the optics of it. I think that’s what’s happened here to President Trump. It was done to further demonize Donald Trump as some kind of outlaw.

Former President Nixon won the fight and the papers (and tape recordings) were eventually transferred to his presidential library. So a FBI raid on Donald Trump’s home is just unbelievably stupid; there is NO WAY in hell even before a socialist leaning judge the Biden regime will get a conviction. Frankly, it shows a flimsy and frightened desperation. Clearly, the left is frightened that Donald Trump will return to power after the 2024 election.

To me it’s all about predicate logic.

What does predicate logic have to do with the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s home?

The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act

Words mean things and if you read the Presidential Records Act and the caselaw that resulted from the fight over Nixon’s papers, then the logic of the words pretty much will put this entire Trump papers business to bed.

My very favourite class from my undergraduate days was predicate logic it was in the philosophy department at Midwestern and was taught by professor Williams. I really enjoyed it. Maybe because I excelled at it. I’m not saying there was a lot of competition in the class but I seem to stand out and it gave me quite a lot of confidence to continue my education.

The reason I’m bringing it up is because I’ve been trying to think about this FBI raid logically. If the courts have ruled that a president owns his papers and the tradition is for him to store them in a Presidential Library, how can he illegally steal them?

What power does the National Archive have?

In this case, none! They are a glorified library and museum; they are NOT a national security organization. The National Archive has little or no power over what is “classified” or not. As far as I’m concerned, the law is clear on that. Presidents own their papers and are the ultimate chief of what is or isn’t “classified.”

The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act

These are not “classified“ documents because the law specifically says the president determines what is “classified“ and what is not. So which president says what’s “classified“ and what is not?  The law says it’s not the next or current president, but this is a decision for the president who is in office at the time the documents were created; that president determines whether they’re “classified“ or not. In the case of the most recent FBI raid, that president was President Trump. In my mind, using this logic, President Trump must have declassified the documents. There isn’t any provision in the law that required that he report any declassification to the National Archive. The National Archive has nothing to do with the determination if it’s “classified” or not. That’s the job of presidents.

And I don’t know why the National Archives is even involved because they have absolutely no statutory power to determine what is classified and what is not.

Biden wants the National Archive to determine what is “classified” basically stealing from the Republican president that authority. Of course, under Biden’s flawed logic, a Democratic president like himself would maintain their authority to “classify” and “declassify” documents. The hypocrisy is obvious; Republican presidents would not maintain that power. Typical power politics move, deny the opposition the power but increase the power for yourself and your party. It’s all very hypocritical in any logic.

The logic is… if you read the Presidential Records Act then you will realize, if you’re a logical and reasonable person, and don’t suffer from Trump derangement syndrome, then you should realize it’s impossible for a president (sitting president or former president) to violate that particular law. I encourage everyone to read it and think logically about it, but this raid is not about anyone breaking the law, it’s about one political party trying to disqualify someone from re-election. The recent FBI raid was about using the media and the legal system from running against them.

Is this the end of the two-party system in America?

Don’t we need two political parties that resite trying to jail each other?

The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act

I was just explaining to to my waitress. For example, McDonald’s versus Sonic Drive-In. There’s competition; there must be competition or the price will increase and the quality will decrease. It’s the same thing with politics; if there is ever a monopoly of one political party over the other in the United States then our freedom will be lost. The price of government will go up and the quality of government will go down.

So how do we maintain competition in the political arena? It’s obvious to me that we can’t have one political party arresting the other and we can’t have one party using the justice system to quash someone’s candidacy. That’s just basics. The day one political party declares the other party illegal, we’ve lost the American system and we will have lost our freedom. We can’t allow a monopoly of power which is what the Biden Administration is going after in persecuting Donald trump. This sort of thing happens in third-world Banana Republics. Where the dictator just arrests any opposition. Are we to this point already?

If it reaches a court will Donald Trump win?

The problem is that the socialists control the Washington DC judicial system. Look at what they’ve done to Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Steve Bannon. Basically, a Republican can’t get a fair trial in Washington D.C.

The Presidential Records Act
The Presidential Records Act

Frankly, it reminds me of a phrase I first heard in Russia in 1996, “a red region.” After the Soviet Union fell, for five or ten years, there were regions where socialism and the previous communist ideology really failed to die. Washington D.C. is clearly a captured area, with a huge majority willing to use state power to oppress the other political party.

Within the context of the DC judicial system, which the socialists have total control, I believe it is their intention to charge the President based on some fabricated charge because they need to legally disqualify him from running in 2024.

At the same time, I don’t believe the raid was actually for collecting evidence. Take for example the raid they conducted on Roger Stone at 6:00 o’clock in the morning. Roger Stone had 30 heavily armed FBI agents surround and storm the home. It was all filmed and leaked to the media. It was for show. It is something you’d expect to see in the Banana Republics, it is all designed to intimidate and silence the few capitalists left in the country.

Why doesn’t the FBI treat Donald Trump like any other person?

True, if this was anyone else it would have all been taken care of in a civil court. But to disqualify Mr Trump from office they have to make it criminal. If the Justice Department wanted the president to produce some documents and the proper way to do that would have been through the courts.

Will they try to arrest President Trump under the Presidential Records Act?

They shouldn’t but I think they’re gonna try to indict President Trump. But it’s hard to say. The grand jury, as you know, operates in secret. But I think it is now increasingly obvious that they intend to charge the President.

Might this backfire and propel Mr Trump back into office?

This FBI illegal raid certainly has opened some eyes. And of course, the more he resists the stronger he looks in the eyes of most people. The more it’s in the media the more tyrannical the socialists look.

You noticed this came only days have Mr. Trump won a straw poll with 69% of the vote? The positive vibes coming out of the former president regarding his candidacy. Every poll across the country shows that Trump is the odds on favourite not only to be nominated, but also they predict Mr. Trump to be the winner of a rematch with Joe Biden or whoever the Democrats nominate.

Why now? Why is Biden just now acting?

These polls and his expected announcement that he will run again in 2024 has forced them to take their game plan into high gear. It is abundantly sad to me that the Attorney General, Merit Garland, has given into the pressure from the Marxist wing of his political party. Garland is a man with a lot of penned-up anger; it appears to me that Garland wanted to be on the Supreme Court and wasn’t allowed that luxury and so now he’s determined to exact his revenge. Garland will probably force a U.S. Attorney to charge the President.

Will the charges cause Mr Trump to not run in 2024?

I doubt Donald Trump will be deterred. Listening to his statements they are very strong. I doubt he will back down and or be intimidated. If anything Trump is a fighter. He actually likes a good fight. If the socialists think they can intimidate him, they don’t understand Donald Trump.

What will happen next?

This is be beginning of the theft of the 2024 election. Yes, it’s a pre-coup. It’s the clear initiation of a deep state theft of the next election. Mr Trump was a hugely popular president; he had an election stolen from him. We now have an unpopular puppet president who has gutted the border, gutted the dollar, gutted the military. Biden’s weakness has invited Chinese (and Russian) aggression and it might end up starting a war (or wars). Do you realize Biden’s confusion might end up shutting off the power supply of the country? I think Mr Trump will cruise to a huge victory in 2024; that’s why the FBI is acting now.

Should Donald Trump hire a lawyer?

The President needs to get himself a good lawyer. I would hire Alan Dershowitz, I love that guy. He’s a lawyer that is a fighter. Dershowitz is a lawyer who clearly does not fear the deep state. But above all Dershowitz is a lawyer who will use all of the necessary legal devices available.