Donald Trump could be barred from holding office if FBI finds classified documents
“My beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump added on Monday in a statement released through his political action committee — ‘Save America’.
The raid has great significance for American politics. The reports coming in indicate that former president Donald Trump had taken some classified documents with him. Now, if any such documents are found at his home, he would be barred from holding any office for life.
18 US Code 2071 – Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally state…
(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.
The twice-impeached President was notorious for ripping up documents in his frequent rages, forcing aides to collect scraps that later had to be taped back together and submitted to the National Archives.
The actions could violate the Presidential Records Act, which says that such records are government property and must be preserved.
However, any statement were neither issued by the FBI or the US Justice Department. The former President was not at his house at the time of raids.
US legal experts said that a search of this kind has to be cleared by a federal judge on two essential grounds: One, there is probable cause that a federal crime has been committed and is being investigated and two, related evidence is stored at the site of the search.