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Letter to the Editor: Conditions of employment

Former president's actions questioned

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An issue today concerns the former president taking White House papers and classified documents home. He claims it's his stuff.

"They're mine," he said.

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Compare government to a large corporation. Each citizen who votes is a member of the board of directors. The presidency is a top level job in our government.

Through voting, we hire and pay people to do this job, so they're our employees. We provide the employee a workplace, materials, information and tools.

Just like working for any business corporation, the facilities, papers, manuals and tools remain company property.

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Secret or private things, such as the company's trade secrets, procedures or customer lists, are confidential.

The employee leaves the job with only their final paycheck. Taking anything else is stealing, whether from government or a business.

After a previous Republican president, Nixon, tried to destroy and cover up records, a law was passed making that a federal crime.

Various witnesses allege the former president destroyed many "company documents" while on the job. They were burned, shredded or flushed down the toilet.

The former president corroborates this latter act, complaining water-saving toilets made it hard to flush things!

I've had two top secret clearances, one military and one civilian. We were trained how to handle top secret information. If I had done what the former president had done, I'd expect to be in prison.

We must assume secrets he took home could've been compromised, if not sold, to our enemies, exposing many U.S. allies to death. It will cost us taxpayers billions mitigating the damage.

Anyone we "hire" for this job in the future must, at minimum, be capable of passing a security clearance first. Many of the former president's family and assistants who became government employees were not able to pass this test in 2017.

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A. Martin,

Merrifield

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