House committee leaders urge federal agency to comply with record-keeping laws amid transition

House committee leaders urge federal agency to comply with record-keeping laws amid transition
© Greg Nash

A number of House committee chairs have urged the Trump administration to comply with record-keeping laws and preserve information related to congressional investigations amid the anticipated transition to a Biden administration. 

The leaders sent letters to the White House and more than 50 federal agencies urging them to save documents and data that could be related to a congressional inquiry that was initiated during the 116th Congress, including text messages, phone-based message applications and encryption software.

The letters come as President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE’s team moves ahead with transition planning after being projected to win the presidential election on Saturday. 


“As the Trump Administration prepares for the transition of power to the new Biden Administration, we write to remind you that all Executive Office of the President employees and officials must comply with record preservation obligations set forth in federal law and preserve information relevant to congressional oversight,” the leaders wrote to White House counsel Pat Cipollone. 

Democrats have repeatedly accused the administration of obstructing its investigations by not providing necessary information and says it is now on the outgoing administration to preserve those records. 

Democrats are projected to retain control of the House chamber but with fewer seats in the majority.

“You are obligated to ensure that any information previously requested by Congress—and any other information that is required by law to be preserved—is saved and appropriately archived in a manner that is easily retrievable.”

Multiple news outlets projected Biden as the winner of the presidential election on Saturday, but President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE has yet to concede. 


Biden’s team has hit a roadblock however, with the General Services Administration (GSA) not yet recognizing his projected win, preventing access to millions of dollars in federal funding for salaries and travel, prompting the team to mull legal action over the agency’s delay. 

A GSA spokesperson told The Hill on Monday that Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, is reportedly waiting to see that “a winner is clear.” 

"An ascertainment has not yet been made. GSA and its Administrator will continue to abide by, and fulfill, all requirements under the law," the spokesperson said.