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National Archives tells House committee it hasn’t recovered all Trump White House records

Washington- The National Records and Archives Administration told House Democrats on Friday that it has not yet retrieved all records from Trump administration officials that it should have under federal law and would consult with the Justice Department on further action.

In a letter to House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, Acting US Archivist Debra Steidel Wall said some White House staffers used “unofficial electronic messaging accounts” for business. official accounts that were not copied or forwarded to their official accounts. , which is required by federal law.

“While there is no easy way to establish absolute liability, we know we don’t have custody of everything that we should,” he told Congress.

The Archives, Wall wrote, “have been able to obtain such records from various officials and will continue to seek the return of similar types of presidential records from former officials.”

House Oversight Committee Hearing on Gun Manufacturers
Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York and chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.


“As appropriate, NARA would consult with the Department of Justice on whether to ‘initiate an action for the recovery of illegally deleted records’, as established in the Federal Records Act,” he said.

Wall also referenced a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in August against Peter Navarro, one of former President Donald Trump’s top business advisers, to retrieve official email records sent from his personal email account. Navarro’s lawyers told the hill in August that he “instructed his attorneys to retain all such records” and “expects the government to follow standard good-faith processes to allow him to produce records.”

In response to Wall’s letter, Maloney said it is “scandalous” that the records, which are owned by the US government, have not been accounted for for 20 months since the end of the Trump administration.

“Former President Trump and his senior staff have shown a complete disregard for the rule of law and our national security by failing to return presidential records as required by law,” he said in a statement.

Trump has come under scrutiny from the Justice Department for his handling of confidential records that were brought with him from the White House at the end of his presidency to his South Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago.

The Archives recovered 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago in mid-January and records marked classified were found in 14 of them, according to the Justice Department. The sensitive documents tranche included: 184 documents with classification marks, including 67 marked confidential, 92 marked secret, and 25 marked top secret.

A Trump representative provided an additional 38 unique documents with classification marks to the Justice Department in June and, after the The FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago in August, found approximately 100 more documents with classification marks in a storage room on the property and on desks in Trump’s office.

The Justice Department is investigating Trump for what he said is the improper removal and storage of classified information in illegal spaces, as well as the illegal concealment or removal of government records.

Trump’s lawyers, however, have said the investigation against him is “unprecedented and wrong”.

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