For my archives post this week, I have decided to, once again, discuss the relations between archives and law. I found an interesting article from Columbia Journalism Review which discusses the legality or illegality of President Trump deleting his tweets. Author Jon Allsop clarifies this question, first, by redirecting it. Allsop states that the issue is not whether the President deletes his tweets, but rather whether he is keeping copies per the 1978 Presidential Records Act; an act passed after Watergate. The best way of doing this would be going through the National Archives, which keeps and organizes federal records.
Allsop directly addresses those wondering whether the President deleting his tweets could lead to his impeachment, saying, “Almost certainly not.” Between the legal ambiguity of the situation, and the White House asserting that they are archiving his tweets, he argues that it is highly improbable that any serious legal ramifications will arise. Simultaneously, Allsop also remarks that this is no reason to stop thinking about this. According to him, the National Security Archives “is suing the Trump Administration over broader breaches of records laws,” outside of Twitter. Furthermore, the Knights First Amendment Institute at Columbia University reported on September 27th, that the White House will not contest its claim that, “Trump has blocked users for criticizing the president and his policies,” something they view as a restriction of the public's exercising their First Amendment Right to free speech. Finally, erasing tweets and attempting to alter the historical record his own presidency is a bad idea generally.
All in all, this article provided an interesting perspective on something I have seen people on social media discussing for some time now. Based on what I read here, I do not expect anything to come of it anytime soon, but I look forward to seeing how archivists continue to document and record the events around this administration as time goes forward.
 Jon Allsop, “Seven Legal Questions about Trump Deleting his Tweets,” Columbia Journalism Review, September 29, 2017. https://www.cjr.org/covering_trump/trump_delete_tweets_twitter.php. Accessed 10/5/17.