Omarosa: White House destroyed evidence meant for Mueller investigation

Omarosa Manigault Newman is at it again. Saturday she appeared on Al Sharpton’s show on MSNBC, I know, and made a remarkable claim. The former member of the Trump administration claimed that five boxes of evidence that should have gone to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team were destroyed.

Offering no concrete evidence to support such a serious allegation, Omarosa recounted her experience with former Chief of Staff John Kelly when he fired her in December 2017.

“I think it’s important to realize that very early on in the administration, we got letters directing us to preserve all information related to the Mueller investigation, all investigations, any information, any emails, any correspondence. We had a clear directive to preserve those documents, preserve emails, preserve text messages,” she said in an interview with MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton.”

“So I thought it was very interesting that after my discussion with General Kelly in the Situation Room when I went to take my things, I was instructed that I had to leave seven boxes of documents that came from the campaign, the inauguration, the transition, and they would not allow me to get them,” Ms. Manigault Newman said, referring to former Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.

Omarosa went on to justify her claim by saying emails after her dismissal only reference two boxes that she left behind, not seven. She jumped to the conclusion that five boxes must have been destroyed. This is a leap, to be sure, yet this is what we have come to expect from her.

‘What’s very curious to me is that, as I stated, it was seven boxes of documents, and in my emails, they only referenced two, which leads me to believe that they’ve destroyed the other five,’ Manigault Newman said.

Here is what is “very curious” to me – why did a White House employee think she was entitled to take home boxes of materials that related to the campaign and her work in the White House? Her job in the Trump administration wasn’t her first experience working in the White House. She served as an assistant to the president and director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison for Trump. In the 1990s Omarosa worked in the office of Vice-President Al Gore. She was later re-assigned to the Commerce Department.

Work-related paperwork and emails are the property of management, in this case, the White House and not the individual employee. Often a person in a sensitive position is given little or no notice of dismissal and only allowed to gather up personal items like a handbag or briefcase while being escorted from the premises by a security guard. Yes, that sounds very cloak and dagger but you get the picture. It isn’t unusual that she wasn’t allowed to haul out seven boxes of work product.

Omarosa went further and said she thinks more documents were destroyed that should have gone to Mueller’s investigation.

‘I believe I’m not the only one who’s been subjected to this type of treatment, and I believe that there are more documents that have been destroyed by this administration,’ she said.

Manigault Newman said she never saw the boxes again and assumed that the Trump administration would not have handed them over to the special counsel, as her legal team would’ve had to be informed if they had been.

The former contestant of The Apprentice went onto add that, based on emails she’d received from administration officials about the documents, it appeared that at least five of the seven boxes had been destroyed.

When show host Al Sharpton asked for clarification purposes if she was saying that the Trump administration destroyed five boxes, she replied, “‘Oh, there’s no question.’ So, she clearly staked out her position. She accused the administration of behavior she claims is standard procedure with them.

This all sounds like sour grapes from a disgruntled former Trump administration staffer. Perhaps she was looking for some attention and Sharpton was happy to provide her the opportunity to toss red meat to those in #TheResistance. It’s been a minute since she’s surfaced on television and her book tour is long over.

‘We’ll have to see what unfolds,’ she continued. ‘But I’m sure that I’m just not a one off. I believe that this is a pattern with this administration of being disrespectful to congressional requests, of trying to use intimidation and all types of tactics to keep people silent,’ the former White House aide told MSNBC.

During an interview on another MSNBC show in April Omarosa made similar claims to host Craig Melvin so maybe she doesn’t think enough attention was paid to her accusations.

‘We should really not just focus on what [Trump] is telling people to do or say, but how he’s asked people to destroy documents, to destroy e-mails ― in my case, two boxes of campaign-related materials the White House still has in their possession that they claim they don’t have or don’t know what happened to it,’ Manigault Newman said at that time.

Melvin asked her whether the Trump administration had directed her to destroy evidence.

Manigault Newman said that while she had not been explicitly told to do so, ‘they were very clear about not wanting us to share those things.’

‘Right after the campaign, the day after, they took our e-mails down and told us we had no access to it … They were certainly working to try to hide the things we now know are involved with this investigation,’ she alleged.

Given that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, the hopes of Trump’s opponents wishing him to be frog-marched out of the Oval Office are gone. All that is left is bickering over instances of obstruction listed in the Mueller report that didn’t rise to an actionable level. Omarosa’s claim of evidence being destroyed falls into the obstruction category. It should be taken with a very large grain of salt.