Trump receiving legal advice from conservative activist Tom Fitton: report

Former President Trump has been receiving legal advice related to his retention of presidential records from the head of Judicial Watch, a conservative legal activist group, CNN reported Friday. 

Trump began taking calls from Tom Fitton, the president of the group, soon after the National Archives confirmed it obtained 15 boxes of records from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property earlier this year.

The Archives reportedly asked the Justice Department (DOJ) to investigate after it received the boxes, some of which contained classified information. 

Fitton told Trump that providing the boxes to the Archives was a mistake and the records belonged to Trump, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN. 

Fitton said Trump should not provide any additional records if the Archives came back for more. He reportedly cited a 2012 case that Judicial Watch was involved in that he said gave Trump the authority to do what he wanted with records from his time in the White House. 

One source told CNN that Trump requested Fitton brief his attorneys on the legal argument. 

Trump has repeatedly maintained that he has fully cooperating with investigators seeking to reclaim the records. But Fitton increasingly began convincing him that he should have control over the records he possessed, according to CNN. 

The Hill has reached out to representatives for Trump and Fitton for comment. 

The report comes as an affidavit that the FBI used to establish probable cause that a crime was being committed is set to be publicly revealed Friday. A federal judge ruled that the DOJ must release a redacted version of the affidavit by noon. 

The DOJ had argued that the affidavit’s full release could compromise its investigation.

Trump receiving legal advice from conservative activist Tom Fitton: report