NARA Slams Trump’s Obama Documents Claim, But Who Owns the Property Where Docs Are Stored?

One response that President Trump had in regard to the unprecedented search of his Mar-a-Lago property this past Monday was to draw attention to the fact that Obama still possesses 33 million documents from his tenure in the White House.

The Fact checkers were quick on the take, using a statement from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to “debunk” President Trump’s claim. NARA claims to be in possession of the 33 million documents but open-source information appears to show a property owner other than NARA where the Obama documents were last seen.

The Claim.

President Trump took to Truth Social and excoriated the Biden administration’s DOJ and FBI, for the KGB-style raid on Mar-a-Lago. Among other points of fact and procedure was the repeated claim that Obama was in possession of documents just like Trump, according to this Epoch Times report, maybe even to a higher degree. Yugely.

On August 11th Trump posted, “I continue to ask, what happened to the 33 Million pages of documents taken to Chicago by President Obama? The Fake News Media refuses to talk about that. They want it CANCELED!”

The next day Trump posted “President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!”

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NARA released a statement refuting Trump’s claims, stating that NARA “ exclusively maintain Obama’s presidential records according to the Presidential Records Act (PRA).”

NARA further clarified that:

NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, D.C., area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

Let’s focus in on the first part of that statement, about transferring the records to Chicago, specifically to a “NARA facility,” because the “fact checkers” and the mainstream media have been snarking uncontrollably with that tidbit, as they tend to do.

The National Archives .gov website lists its Chicago property as being at 7358 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629. A map search does indeed show a sizable property that could very well hold 33 million documents (go ahead and try it), but is that where the Obama documents actually are? Searches did not provide any additional properties owned by NARA in the Chicago area.

An article from WBEZ Chicago confirms the move of the Obama documents, citing that “More than 20 truckloads of papers were brought from Washington, D.C. to this shuttered Plunkett furniture store in Hoffman Estates in early 2017. Those documents will eventually be digitized and made available to the public in a different way from past presidential libraries. The Obama Presidential Library won’t be a physical building — it’ll live on the internet.”

An article published to the U.S Department of Defense on January 4, 2017, also describes the Obama documents move, focusing on the experiences of the Air Force personnel who made up the “Joint Team Records” responsible for moving the documents, specifically Lt. Col. Vianesa Vargas. The DoD reported on the journey:

” …more than 700-mile trek from Washington to Hoffman Estates, Illinois, just on the outskirts of Chicago. She’s [Vargas] the lead logistician in charge of a joint team of airmen and soldiers who have prepared tractor trailers full of artifacts. In all, more than 20 trucks are expected to make deliveries.”

Twenty trucks! That must be a yuge amount of documents! But they are going to an abandoned furniture store, listed at 2500 W Golf Rd, Hoffman Estates, not the NARA facility. A map search of the address, does show a smaller warehouse space than NARA’s, but is it as secure? Go ahead and search, you know you want to.

Property searches of Cook County indicate that the property that houses the Obama documents retained an attorney to appeal their tax assessments. That attorney, Steve Kandelman, works for the firm Rieff Schramm Kanter & Guttman.

Riddle me this, oh solver of riddles: If a government agency owns a facility, do they need tax lawyers? If NARA owns the facility why do property records show they are owned by an individual, not named Obama, and why is that individual the only property owner listed after the failed furniture store? Did they move the documents elsewhere?

Questions, questions, so many questions.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author's opinion.