Donald Trump Should Not Bother with A Presidential Library

Win or lose on Nov. 3, 2020, Donald Trump can set an excellent example by letting the National Archives retain and later provide access to all records created or received during his tenure as president of the United States.  Thereafter, citizens and scholars can study these presidential records. After all, they are our property, and not that of any single president.

Unlike all presidents in office from 1955 onwards (when the Presidential Libraries Act was signed into law), Donald Trump entered the White House with a vast fortune, and a track record promoting and developing business ventures inside and outside the United States. Given his accomplishments as president, he and his family will only have more substantial profit-making opportunities when he leaves the White House.

The Trump family will later only be hurt, possibly grievously from a financial point of view, if they simultaneously get involved with a presidential library. Loved by many, but hated by denizens of the still lubricated deep state swamp, he will be relentlessly pursued by the very people who have let the Clinton family exploit their purported charity for personal and political gain since Oct. 23,1997.


Though the Clintons and other dynastic political families including the Bush and Obama clans profess otherwise, presidential libraries are public charities -- these are supposed to be governed by directors or trustees who are broadly representative of the public at large, and certainly not blind supporters of a president. These entities may not push or oppose a political candidate, nor may they promote or block legislation. Moreover, public charities may not, during their entire life create more than an insubstantial amount of "private gain" in total through their operation.

The Bill Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas

Photo credit: Thomas R Machnitzki, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

In financial terms, insubstantial has been held to be amounts of $1,000 or less. Here, private gain does not merely mean financial gain (unfairly and generously priced speech, book and film deals, or sweetheart investment terms) but any kind of advantage or edge created for insiders at the supposed charity. Most of all, public charities must actually exist. If they are nonprofit corporations, they must incorporate, then organize by adopting articles of incorporation and bylaws, and scrupulously follow all applicable laws, everywhere they operate or solicit donations.

In recent years, attorneys general in New York State have persecuted the Trump family for operating charities outside local law, even though no Clinton charities, and there are too many of these, have ever registered truthfully to operate and to solicit inside the Empire State.

Meanwhile many different lawyers and law firms have "studied" public filings of "The Clinton Foundation," identified glaring defects, but chosen to either look the other way, or in the name of DLA Piper in November 2015, to make manifestly false claims suggesting that the filings complied with applicable laws and regulations. Since Mar. 16, 2015, a number of concerned persons have documented massive, ongoing, illegal activities carried out in the name of "The Clinton Foundation" and others involving a supposed organization using Federal Employer Identification Number 31-1580204. Google searches,, and @CharlesOrtel are good places to find perspectives on these apparent charity frauds.

After trying to stimulate interest in investigating and bringing to justice those responsible for directing the largest criminal fraud and corruption exercise ever attempted using charities in traditional media, I started cohosting podcasts with Hollywood veteran Jason Goodman in various formats under the umbrella. Our latest podcast is linked here.  These cumulative efforts have triggered interest in many places inside and outside the United States. And now we wait to see whether authorities will do the right thing and demonstrate, via prosecutions and plea agreements that even, and especially, dynastic political families are subject to our laws.

Since November 1992, publicly available evidence shows that the Clintons have schemed with their supporters to monetize their "public service" using leaky charities that fail, lawfully, to account for their activities as is required. This abominable record is emulated by others in both parties and in many foreign nations.

America's founders did not throw off the yoke of monarchy to replace it with a new form of intolerant rule by unregulated, self-selected cultists in thrall to gauzy themes like "globalism," and unvetted schemes to address "inequality" and "climate change" chiefly by seizing wealth and income of the meek.

Intended to serve as archives and research facilities into the histories of presidents, presidential libraries in modern times have become vanity exercises through which corrupt interests can pay tribute to families seeking to rule, we the people using monuments to themselves. Given existing technology alone, libraries are becoming expensive anachronisms, that need to be heated, cooled, and maintained.

The 45th president should set another cutting-edge marker letting his records remain at the main National Archives complex.  Then, after he leaves the White House he and his family can profit to their hearts' content, unfettered by the real conflicts of interest that come and should be prosecuted when merchants in misery like the Clintons (and others) milk public charities. illegally.

Charles Ortel is host of the YouTube series, Sunday with Charles. An archive of 263 episodes since June 2017 is found here.