President Donald Trump’s adversaries are constantly watching for any hint of impropriety. And even the most trivial infraction is being treated as a possible path to impeachment. How trivial? It seems President Trump may be breaking the law with his Tweets.
Not writing the Tweets. What has Congress concerned is that he’s deleting the Tweets after he posts them.
The House Oversight Committee, concerned with the preservation of all of the President’s written record, has written to the President to advise him to stop deleting the Tweets from his official @POTUS and @realDonaldTrump accounts.
White House Counsel Don McGahn penned the letter Wednesday. As these Tweets are officially part of the public record, they should not be deleted.
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asked for the letter, and it was sent by chairman Jason Chaffetz (R. Utah).
“Federal record-keeping and government transparency laws such as the Presidential Records Act ensure the official business of the federal government is properly preserved and accessible to the American public,” the letter says.
The Presidential Records Act covers communications “created or received” by the President, Vice President, and everyone in the administration tasked with advising either of them.
In addition to the concern over the deleted texts, the letter takes issue with the use of encryption software like “Signal, Confide, and WhatsApp.”
“Generally, strong encryption is the best defense against cyber breaches by outside actors, and can preserve the integrity of decision-making communications.”
“The need for data security, however, does not justify circumventing requirements established by federal record-keeping and transparency laws.”
The Presidential accounts are what’s getting the most attention. These Tweets, in particular, have been the subject of satirical mockery since Trump began his campaign. And he has deleted many of them, ostensibly because of misspellings.
“Many of the messages sent from these accounts are likely to be presidential records and therefore must be preserved. It has been reported, however, that President Trump has deleted tweets and if those tweets were not archived it could pose a violation of the Presidential Records Act.”
The committee gave Trump until March 22 to make the appropriate changes.