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Trump lawyers’ missing PRA reference leaves huge hole

There’s a fun time here at National Zero when a new filing drops in one of the many legal cases in the Trump Universe.  The first late-night one tonight comes from Donald Trump’s lawyers, who submitted some ludicrous language for the jury instructions that would exclude Donald Trump from being guilty until and unless He Himself declares Him to be, because he is The Trump.   Here’s the fun part of what Trump’s lawyers claim: that under the Presidential Records Act, Trump gets to decide what’s a “personal record,” and thus what’s his:

Specifically, under Judicial Watch, backed by decades of practice by NARA under the PRA, and consistent with the history of former Presidents and government officials retaining classified records when they leave office, “an outgoing president’s decision to exclude what he/she considers to be personal records from presidential records transmitted to [NARA] constitutes a president’s categorization of those records as personal under the PRA.” ECF No. 407 at 2; see also 44 U.S.C. § 2203(f) (mandating that, “[d]during a President’s term of office,” “[t]he President shall remain exclusively responsible for custody, control, and access to … Presidential records”)” [Citation removed].

Unfortunately for Trump, the Presidential Records Act actually defines what a “personal record” is, and it doesn’t include reports on foreign country’s nuclear capabilities:

The term “personal records” means all documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion therof, of a purely private or nonpublic character which do not relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. Such term includes

(A) diaries, journals, or other personal notes serving as the functional equivalent of a diary or journal which are not prepared or utilized for, or circulated or communicated in the course of, transacting Government business;

(B) materials relating to private political associations, and having no relation to or direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President; and

(C) materials relating exclusively to the President’s own election to the office of the Presidency; and materials directly relating to the election of a particular individual or individuals to Federal, State, or local office, which have no relation to or direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President.

More on Jack Smith’s response to Judge Aileen Cannon’s request for jury instructions in a moment.

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