WASHINGTON – The National Archives notified Congress on Friday that members of the Trump White House have yet to turn over all presidential records and signaled there could be legal consequences for those who do not. follow.
In one Letter to the House Oversight CommitteeDebra Steidel Wall, US archivist, said archives are working to retrieve electronic messages from a number of unnamed White House officials who used private messaging and email accounts. to do official work.
Walls wrote that the archives would consult the Justice Department on whether to “initiate an action to recover illegally deleted records.”
“While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we know that we do not have the power to oversee everything that we should,” Ms. Wall wrote to Representative Carolyn B. Maloney. , Democrat of New York and chairman of the Oversight Committee.
Ms. Wall quotes an August File the Department of Justice to restore official email records from the personal account of Peter Navarro, a former Trump adviser. Mr. Navarro is facing accusations of contempt for Congress after he refused to comply with a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
In her letter, Ms. Wall declined to say whether former President Donald J. Trump had turned over all of the presidential records in his possession.
“As for the second issue regarding whether former President Trump has given up all presidential records, we respectfully refer you to the Department of Justice in light of the ongoing investigation of the President. it,” she wrote.
“The National Archives has confirmed to the Oversight Committee that it has not yet received all of the presidential records from the Trump White House,” Maloney said in a statement. “Presidential records are the property of the American people, and it’s amazing that they remain unaccounted for 20 months after former President Trump left office.”
Ms. Maloney has requested an official review from the archives as to which presidential records have yet to be tagged and whether the archives believe any are likely still in his possession. Trump or not.
Ms Maloney also asked the archives to “seek personal certification from Donald Trump that he turned over all the presidential files that he unlawfully deleted from the White House after leaving office.” department”.
The federal government tried and failed for over a year and a half to obtain classified and sensitive documents from Mr. Trump before leaving his job on August 8 to search his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, according to government documents and statements of law. his teacher.
Two months prior to the search, Mr. Trump’s attorney certifies that all documents bearing the mark of classification have been returned and that no “copy, written mark or copy of any kind has been keep.”
However, the FBI’s search revealed that the former president still had more than 11,000 government files, including more than 100 files with the highest classification mark and documents with the highest classification mark, some related to source of human intelligence. There are more classified documents in the drawer of Mr. Trump’s office.
The search also revealed 48 folders with empty categorical markings. While it’s not clear why they were empty, the committee said, the apparent separation of classified documents and presidential records from their designated folders raised questions about how documents stored and whether sensitive material may have been lost or taken by a third party.