National Archives says it hasn’t retrieved all Trump records

National Archives says it hasn’t retrieved all Trump records

The National Data and Archives Administration informed House Democrats on Friday that it has not yet retrieved all the records from Trump administration officials that it is required to have under federal law, and that it will speak with the Justice Department before taking further action.

The acting archivist of the United States, Debra Steidel Wall, stated in a letter to the chair of the House Oversight Committee, Carolyn Maloney, that some White House staff used “non-official electronic messaging accounts” for official business that were not copied or forwarded to their official accounts in violation of federal law.

She told Congress, “Although there is no simple way to show absolute accountability, we are aware that we do not have custody of everything we ought to.”

Wall stated that the National Archives “has gotten comparable materials from a number of officials and will continue to pursue the return of comparable types of presidential records from retired officials.”

On Wednesday, July 27, 2022, in Washington, United States, Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York and chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, addresses a hearing. Bloomberg

As required by the Federal Records Act, she added that NARA would consult with the Department of Justice to determine whether to “initiate an action to recover unlawfully removed records.”

Wall also mentioned a lawsuit brought by the Justice Department in August against Peter Navarro, a former top trade adviser to former President Donald Trump, for retrieving government email material from his personal email account. Navarro’s counsel informed The Hill in August that he “instructed his attorneys to preserve all such evidence” and that he “expects the government to follow standard processes in good faith to permit him to produce records.”

In response to Wall’s letter, Maloney declared it “outrageous” that twenty months after the end of the Trump administration, government-owned documents are still missing.

She noted in a statement, “By failing to return presidential records as required by law, former President Trump and his senior staff demonstrated a blatant disregard for the rule of law and our national security.”

The Justice Department is investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents he moved from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida after leaving office.

According to the Justice Department, fourteen of the fifteen boxes of documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago in mid-January were classified. The collection of sensitive documents included 184 documents with classification marks, with 67 marked confidential, 92 marked secret, and 25 marked top secret.

In June, a Trump representative provided the Justice Department with an additional 38 papers bearing classified markings. In August, the FBI issued a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago and located around 100 additional classified documents in Trump’s office desks and a storage room on the property.

The Justice Department is examining allegations that Trump improperly removed and stored classified information in unauthorized locations, as well as concealed or removed federal records.

However, Trump’s attorneys have described the investigation as “unprecedented and misguided.”

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