Could the ‘Clinton Sock Drawer’ Case Exonerate Trump?
Summary from AllSides News Team
Former President Donald Trump is citing a legal case involving former President Bill Clinton, a handful of audiotapes, and a sock drawer in his defense against his federal indictment. What is the “Clinton sock drawer” case, and is the precedent it set relevant to Trump’s charges?
The Clinton Sock Case: Clinton was interviewed 79 times during his presidency by historian Taylor Branch. These interviews were recorded by the White House, and Clinton reportedly kept the tapes in a sock drawer and took them when he left office. In 2010, the conservative non-profit organization Judicial Watch sued the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in an effort to get the tapes classified as presidential records. A judge threw out the case, siding against Judicial Watch and ruling that “NARA does not have the authority to designate materials as ‘Presidential records,’ NARA does not have the tapes in question, and NARA lacks any right, duty, or means to seize control of them.”
Not Relevant: Legal experts quoted in analyses from Reuters (Center bias) and Politifact (Lean Left bias) drew distinctions between the sock drawer tapes and top-secret classified documents, determining the case is not relevant.
Relevant: The attorney for Judicial Watch wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal Opinion (Lean Right bias), arguing the precedent set in the sock case meant a president “may take with him whatever records he chooses at the end of his term.”
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the RightTrump’s Boxes and Clinton’s Sock Drawer
Although the indictment against Donald Trump doesn’t cite the Presidential Records Act, the charges are predicated on the law. The indictment came about only because the government thought Mr. Trump took records that didn’t belong to him, and the government raided his house to find any such records.
This should never have happened. The Presidential Records Act allows the president to decide what records to return and what records to keep at the end of his presidency. And the National Archives and Records Administration can’t do anything about it. I...
From the CenterDonald Trump, the Presidential Records Act and ‘Clinton's sock drawer’ defense
If you believe the most ardent defenders of newly indicted former president Donald Trump, there’s a silver bullet hiding in Bill Clinton’s sock drawer.
The reference to Clinton’s socks, which has cropped up not just in the former president’s Truth Social feed and at conservative news outlets but even in Trump court filings, stems from a 13-year-old case in which the right-leaning nonprofit Judicial Watch sought access to 79 audio tape recordings of Clinton interviews conducted by the historian Taylor Branch while Clinton was in office.
During his presidency, according...
From the LeftYes, Bill Clinton kept tapes in his sock drawer. Here's why Trump's case is different
As former President Donald Trump defended himself against federal charges involving classified documents, he described what sounded like a case of political hypocrisy.
President Bill Clinton kept audiotapes in a sock drawer and a court said it was OK, Trump said a day after being indicted on federal charges that he mishandled classified documents.
"They also don't mention the defining lawsuit brought against Bill Clinton," he told a Columbus, Georgia, crowd June 10, "and it was lost by the government — the famous socks case that says he can keep...