The discovery could be of interest to federal investigators who oversee the handling of government secrets.
confidential information in 15 boxes of White House records The documents are housed at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, the National Archives and Records Administration said in a letter, confirming that the matter was referred to the Justice Department.
The agency’s letter on Friday followed numerous reports of Trump’s handling of sensitive and even classified information during his presidency and after he left the White House.
The disclosure could also be of interest to federal investigators who oversee the handling of government secrets, although the Justice Department and the FBI have not said they will pursue the matter.
Federal law prohibits the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, although Trump may try to argue that, as president, he is the ultimate authority on declassification.
Whatever the legal risk, he faces charges of hypocrisy given his ruthless attack on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state during the 2016 presidential campaign. The FBI investigated, but ultimately no charges were brought.
Trump recently denied reports that his administration had a tenuous relationship with the National Archives, and his lawyers said “they are continuing their search for other presidential records belonging to the National Archives.”
“The National Archives did not ‘find’ anything, they were presidential records obtained on request in a normal routine,” Trump said in a statement Friday night.
“If this was anyone other than ‘Trump,’ there would be no story here,” he said.
The archivist’s letter in response to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, which is under investigation, also detailed how the Trump administration failed to capture and preserve certain social media records. It also said the agency has learned that White House staffers routinely use unofficial messaging accounts and personal phone calls to conduct official business.
These staff did not copy or forward their official message counts because required under the Presidential Records Act. The letter also went on to reveal that after Trump left the White House, the National Archives learned that additional paper records ripped up by the former president had been transferred to the agency.
The letter continued: “While some of the torn records were recovered and collated by White House staff during the Trump administration, some other torn records that were transferred were not rebuilt by the White House.”
Lawmakers are also seeking information on the contents of the boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago, but the agency says the records prevent them from leaking.
“These new revelations deepen my sympathy for former President Trump’s blatant disregard for federal records laws and for our history,” Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney, chair of the Oversight Committee, said in a statement Friday. concerns about the potential impact of the record”.
She added: “I am committed to uncovering the full depth of violations of the Presidential Records Act by former President Trump and his top advisers and to use these findings to advance critical reforms and prevent future abuses.”
The Washington Post first reported that the archivist asked the Justice Department to investigate the discovery of 15 boxes of White House records recovered from Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where the former president was in office. There is a habit. Tear up “sensitive and mundane” records.
House investigators will investigate whether Trump’s conduct during and after his presidency violated the Presidential Records Act, which was enacted in 1978 after former President Richard Nixon wanted to destroy documents related to Watergate.
The law states that presidential records are the property of the U.S. government, not the president himself. A statute punishable by up to three years in prison makes it a crime to conceal or vandalize government records.