Trump’s White House Didn’t Archive Twitter DMs

After a long wait, Judge Aileen Cannon has finally docketed the exhibits behind Trump’s motion to compel discovery in the Trump stolen documents case. Much of the dispute centers on claims that the Archives exhibited political bias because they wanted to archive Trump’s presidential materials.

As such, the exhibits include details about NARA’s efforts to archive the Twitter accounts Trump and others used during their tenure. NARA would later send Carol Maloney a version of this in 2022, which focused attention on tweets that people like Ivanka had deleted.

As that letter revealed, the exhibit reveals that Trump didn’t start automatically preserving tweets until 2018, but took quite some time to include everyone in the archiving process.

Whereas Ivanka’s deleted tweets seemed particularly important in 2022, Andrew Giuliani — who had contact with Kellye SoRelle — look more important from this vantage.

But the detail that takes on most new significance given what we’ve learned since is that the White House didn’t choose to archive DMs.

Again, this was in that 2022 letter to Maloney. But we now know that when Xitter tried to refuse to turn over material from Trump’s account, Jack Smith pointed to the incomplete nature of what NARA had as one of his bases for needing to go to Xitter directly.

I still doubt that was the most important item that Smith was looking for. But Trump’s earlier failures may have been part of what gave Smith cause to demand more important information on attribution from Elon Musk.

12 replies
    • CPtight617 says:

      Very interesting. Now we know when the J6 plot officially launched. I would think this could be helpful to mens rea since a compliance tool that’s been running in the background doesn’t just “oopsies it turned off!” This reminds me of the missing WH logs and phone records for Dec and Jan. 2020-21.

  1. rattlemullet says:

    Regarding the PRA act of 1978, possible felonies.

    18 U.S.C 641,
    18 U.S.C 1361,
    18 U.S.C. 2071

    So the one man crime wave started his term committing felonies and continues after his term. If all these laws exist on the books are they so completely toothless that they might as well not exist or is this just another example of laws not applying to TFG? I’ve lost track…has he been charge with any of the violations?

    • Cheez Whiz says:

      People really discount how much deference the Presiden gets, because until 2016 the Presiden wasn’t a resentful man baby with an unquenchable thirst for revenge and personal glory. Our legal system has lots of protective bias in favor of elites at Trump’s level as it is, and dropping the hammer on a (former) President goes against all of that and more. Plus there are serious questions on where the line is drawn, to mess it up even more. It’s amazing it’s gone as far as it has, even if everyone thinks that’s not far enough.

  2. Alan_OrbitalMechanic says:

    I suppose one of the most painful epiphanies that almost all Trump employees and aides go through is when they are forced to realize that Trump has absolutely no interest in following any rules that he doesn’t want to. Even when they know it is their job to see those rules followed. Trump truly believed he was above it all and minions could scurry around trying to pick up his droppings if they felt that was important. I almost feel sorry for them.

    I suspect, however, that nearly all Trump & Co tweets have actually been preserved — just not by the Archives but by private citizens who were following Trump or covering him as part of their job. At one point the WaPo was trying to document all the Trump lies (I think they just quit after 20,000 or so) and certainly they have much of it.

    It would be amusing for the National Archive to put up a web page for anyone to contribute what they happened to have saved. I’m sure there are a lot that we have forgotten about.

    • greengiant says:

      It is the never public DMs that both the 2017-2021 administration and Xitter failed to archive and/or erased. I’m interested in which actors used Xitter DMs. For example it has been reported multiple cell phones, email accounts, and proton and whatsapp etc have been used.

    • Barringer says:

      Amusing, yes, but I don’t want tax dollars spent on such things, and any screen shots captured by private citizens would almost certainly be inadmissible as evidence.

  3. harpie says:

    I apologize for the O/T.

    Right wing Zealots all over the country are cracking down on Americans’ First Amendment rights.

    Historian Kevin Kruse, 4/22/24:

    […] While it’s true to form for Sen. Cotton to display his bloodlust when it comes to left-wing protesters, this latest call for a clampdown is even more disturbing than some of the others, given its obvious echoes of the National Guard’s deployment to college campuses 54 years ago and the deadly, disastrous results of that decision. […]

    OHIO, Crosby Stills, Nash and Young

  4. ShallMustMay08 says:

    March 2020 cut off for capturing DM’s was COVID and his timing for calling out mail in ballots for 7 + months later – invalid. Stealing.
    Aligns. Makes sense. Probably in works prior b/c he was always behind in polls.

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