Transparency has never been a hallmark of Donald Trump. After the National Archives asked the Biden Justice Department to examine Trump’s handling of White House records, it was revealed that he bizarrely would routinely clog White House toilets with wads of printed papers.
The toilet flushing episode revelation points to a possible violation of laws concerning the handling of government documents, and Trump consistently flouted the Presidential Records Act by tearing up documents and taking a significant amount of written materials from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
Trump’s lack of transparency has taken a whole new level of gravity after Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reported in The Washington Post that the House committee investigating the January 6th riots disclosed a seven-hour gap in the record of phone communications for that day.
To put that into perspective, the Nixon tapes that were released during the Watergate scandal and that led to his eventual resignation had an 18-minute gap in them. When addressing the comparison between Nixon and Trump, Constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe said the gap in the records “makes the infamous 18-minute gap in Nixon’s tapes look like nothing in comparison.”
The gap in phone logs adds overwhelming evidence of Trump’s criminal behavior regarding January 6th and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. A federal court already found it “more likely than not” that Trump “corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” and, with deceitful intent, conspired to defraud the United States.
It’s also worth mentioning that Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, and Steve Bannon were all huddling at the Willard Hotel in D.C., which has been referred to as the “command center of the January 6th riots, and it’s very likely that Trump was communicating with them as the violence at the Capitol unfolded. During the same time as the missing phone logs, we know that Trump spoke with Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and called Vice President Mike Pence to continue pressuring him to not allow the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Any reasonable observer would be asking themselves a very simple question — if Trump believes he did nothing wrong that day and if he has nothing to hide, why are seven hours of his phone records missing?
Nixon had 18 minutes missing from his White House Tapes. Donald Trump has over 400 minutes scrubbed from the record. While Nixon resigned before he could be removed from office, Trump was an already defeated president who was pathetically and desperately trying to cling on to power.
Unfortunately, Trump is threatening to run for president again in 2024, and the American public deserves to know exactly who he was talking to while his supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol while chanting “hang Mike Pence” and smearing their feces on the walls in one of the most idiotic coup attempts witnessed in recent history.
These missing phone logs are the clearest proof of Trump’s malicious and criminal intent in subverting our democratic process and the will of the electorate during the 2020 election that we have seen so far.
Thomas Kennedy is an elected Democratic National Committee member representing Florida. He tweets from @tomaskenn.
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is a reported opinion columnist and roving correspondent. He's an elected member of the Democratic National Committee from Florida and a Director of Sunshine Agenda Inc. a government transparency nonprofit organization.