Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, has asked the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to assess whether they believe all missing documents removed when ex-President Trump left office had been returned.
In a letter addressed to NARA’s Acting Archivist, Debra Steidel Wall, Congresswoman Maloney wrote:
“In light of the serious risk that Mr. Trump may still be retaining sensitive government records at Mar-a-Lago or his other properties, I urge NARA to seek a personal certification from Donald Trump that he has surrendered all presidential records that he illegally removed from the White House after leaving office. I also ask that the agency conduct an urgent review of presidential records recovered from the Trump White House to assess whether presidential records remain unaccounted for and potentially in the possession of the former president.”
BREAKING: Chair @RepMaloney sent a letter to NARA requesting an assessment on whether the presidential records removed from the White House by former President Trump remain unaccounted for and potentially in his possession. https://t.co/m0pLwjLLQM
— Oversight Committee (@OversightDems) September 13, 2022
For more than a year and a half, the former President was negotiating with the National Archives and federal investigators to return materials belonging to the government per the Presidential Records Act – while misleading the Justice Department and FBI that all classified documents had already been delivered. The discovery of empty classified folders after the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago in early August cast further doubt on that assertion.
Those facts were not lost on the Committee on Oversight and Reform Chair.
“On at least three separate occasions, former President Trump and his attorneys have had the opportunity to turn over all presidential records—including classified documents—as requested by federal authorities, but failed to do so,” Rep. Maloney wrote.
“The Committee is concerned that, given this pattern of conduct, Mr. Trump may continue to retain presidential records at non-secure locations, including classified material that could endanger our nation’s security and other important records documenting Mr. Trump’s activities at the White House,” the Chairwoman continued. “NARA’s staff recently informed the Committee that the agency is not certain whether all presidential records are in its custody.”
With jurisdiction over the Presidential Records Act, the Oversight Committee is well within its right to investigate the handling of records, communications, documents, and materials subject to the four-decades-old law.
The call for Donald Trump to certify that he has complied fully with the Presidential Records Act is a smart move on the part of the Committee. Getting a habitual liar on the record in a criminal investigation will be a win-win.
Read Congresswoman Maloney’s full letter here.
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