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Rules That Former Presidents Have to Follow After Leaving the White House

Being the president of the United States of America has got to be one of the hardest jobs on earth, so it should come as no surprise that acting presidents have to follow some pretty strict rules. But as it turns out, former presidents have a whole host of rules they have to follow as well, and some of them may surprise you!

They Must Establish a Presidential Library

They Must Establish a Presidential Library

You may have noticed before that it seems like there’s always a library named after every president. That’s because there is, and it’s a rule that former presidents must establish a library. Thanks to the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955, each former president must oversee the construction of a new library in their name.

However, presidential libraries aren’t simply monuments to their namesake president…

Their Library Can’t Sugarcoat Things

Their Library Can't Sugarcoat Things

However, Presidential libraries aren’t “normal” libraries, as they must contain everything that’s ever been written by that president while in office – even the bad stuff. This is because this information is all legally considered public property and must be available to the public and kept as public record.
They Still Have to Read National Security Briefings

They Still Have to Read National Security Briefings

One of the duties that comes along with being president is constantly having to read up on national security briefs in order to stay informed about any potential threats to the United States. Former presidents must also do this so that they can offer advice to the current administration, or in case they get asked about it by the press.
They Can’t Smack-Talk Other Presidents

They Can't Smack-Talk Other Presidents

While this one isn’t an official rule, smack-talking other presidents is heavily frowned upon by White House tradition. However, you may have noticed that it hasn’t exactly been meticulously followed by all former presidents as partisanship in America has ramped up over the years, and it may even go away altogether in the near future.
They Must Have Their Mail Searched

They Must Have Their Mail Searched

This probably isn’t too surprising, considering all of the sketchy things that could get sent in the mail. Both the secret service and the United States Postal Service are required to closely examine any suspicious-looking packages that get delivered to the president and former presidents.

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