The warrant under which federal agents searched Donald Trump’s Florida home has not been made public, but press leaks suggest it was related to the former president’s alleged mishandling of official documents . This has sparked speculation that Mr Trump could be prosecuted under a law governing the misuse of federal government records, which includes a federal office disqualification provision. According to this theory, if Mr. Trump is found guilty, he would not be eligible for a second term as president. It won’t work. The theory is flawed for both legislative and constitutional reasons.
The presidential archives were traditionally considered the personal property of the former president. Congress recognized this in the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955, which “encouraged”—but did not require—former presidents to deposit their materials for the benefit of scholars and history.