Will Donald Trump be denied a presidential library? Congress urged to ban ex-POTUS from pulling 'giant grift'
A Washington Post critic has demanded that legislation be passed to ban former president Donald Trump from having his own presidential library, which has been a norm for every ex-POTUS from Herbert Hoover to George W Bush.
The left-leaning news outlet published a piece by art and architecture critic Philip Kennicott titled, "Trump wants a library. He must never have one," where he said that Trump "must never have an official presidential library, and Congress should move quickly to make sure he never will" despite his popularity after leaving office and the fact that he could have "airports, bridges and schools" named after him in some parts of the country.
"That is why Congress should use this moment to reconsider the legislation that helped create and shape the presidential libraries now administered by the National Archives, not just to prevent Trump from perpetrating one last, giant grift, but to reform the system so it serves the country better," Kennicott explained. "This is long overdue, and would need to be done even if Trump weren’t trying to raise $2 billion for a Trump center. But his intention to do so makes this urgent, even an issue of national security."
These libraries, which are administered by the National Archives and Records Administration’s Office of Presidential Libraries, serve as not only tourist attractions but also as repositories for papers, records and other materials belonging to the chief executive. Kennicott said that Trump "should be afforded no discretion over his records or any privilege to extend the amount of time before the public can see them". He then went on to cite ex-president Richard Nixon's efforts to preserve his legacy after he resigned due to the Watergate scandal.
"The danger of Trump using a presidential library to burnish his image is far more serious, with the ex-president and his surrogates still promoting the idea that his electoral loss was somehow fraudulent," the critic wrote. "That creates an ongoing uncertainty in American public life, which Trump and even more unscrupulous actors will use to further division, inflame tension, exacerbate racism and delegitimize the American democratic system."
He continued: "So even a privately funded and operated Trump presidential library, which would be devoted to whitewashing his record and rewriting history, is a terrible and even dangerous idea. Further, given Trump's alleged misuse of charitable funds, including self-dealing, waste, and other illegal activities, at his now-dissolved New York-based foundation, any intention to start another public entity can only be considered a crime scene waiting to happen."
We previously reported that Trump reportedly told his supporters and his benefactors that he wanted to raise $2B for a presidential library and museum in his name. It was also reported that Trump envisions it to be run by his social media director Dan Scavino, who more recently started working for the president in the capacity of deputy chief of staff.
The cost to build a library that Trump wants is going to cost more than any of the other presidential library but he reportedly believes that the money can be raised via small-dollar donations from grassroots campaigns among supporters. However, former associates of the president feel that it will be difficult for him to do so, especially after the violence that transpired at the US Capitol on January 6, endangering the lives of many congressmen as well as the policemen standing guard.
“I thought to myself, what is this alternative fantasy life you’re living? I have no clue where they think they’ll get this money raised. Anyone who gives to him will be radioactive,” an unknown fundraiser told the outlet about the plans.