WASHINGTON, DC – Rep Carolyn B Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter dated February 9 to David S Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, seeking information about the 15 boxes of presidential records that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently recovered from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, as well as new reports that the former President attempted to destroy presidential records.
“I am deeply concerned that these records were not provided to NARA promptly at the end of the Trump Administration and that they appear to have been removed from the White House in violation of the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” wrote Chairwoman Maloney. “I am also concerned by recent reports that while in office, President Trump repeatedly attempted to destroy presidential records, which could constitute additional serious violations of the PRA.”
The PRA preserves the records made by a sitting president and his staff, while giving legal ownership of those records to the American people. President Trump is required not only to preserve presidential records, but to turn them over to the National Archives at the end of his presidential term.
On February 7, The Washington Post reported that former President Trump improperly removed 15 boxes of records from the White House and transported them to his Mar-a-Lago residence.
On February 5, it was reported that while in office, former President Trump “tore up briefings and schedules, articles and letters, memos both sensitive and mundane.”
“Former President Trump and his senior advisors must also be held accountable for any violations of the law,” Chairwoman Maloney added. “Republicans in Congress obsessively investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server for official communications. Former President Trump’s conduct, in contrast, involves a former president potentially violating a criminal law by intentionally removing records, including communications with a foreign leader, from the White House and reportedly attempting to destroy records by tearing them up.”
The Chairwoman requested that NARA provide information regarding the agency’s communications with the representatives of former President Trump about the missing boxes, the contents of the boxes, and more by February 18.
On December 21, 2020, the Chairwoman sent a letter to the National Archives expressing concerns that the outgoing Trump Administration may not be preserving records, in violation of the PRA.
The February 9 letter may be viewed online: https://bit.ly/3suiuMf.