National Security

House Oversight seeks certification from Trump given Archives ‘not certain’ it has all records

The National Archives is still uncertain whether the government has recovered all records from former President Trump’s Florida home, the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed in a Tuesday letter asking the agency to pursue a sworn statement from Trump that he has returned all documents.

Archives staff “recently informed the committee that the agency is not certain whether all presidential records are in its custody,” said Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

The letter noted that the Trump team repeatedly failed to turn over records when asked by both the Archives, often called NARA, and the Justice Department, including when served a subpoena.

“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,” Maloney wrote in a letter to acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall.

“I urge NARA to seek from former President Trump a written certification that he has surrendered all presidential records or classified materials, has not made any copies or reproductions of such materials, and has not transferred any records or government documents to any party other than NARA or DOJ since his term ended.”

The letter also asks NARA to do an inventory of what records might possibly be unaccounted for “and potentially in the possession of the former president.”

Trump’s legal counsel already provided a sworn statement to the Justice Department in May indicating that all classified materials at Mar-a-Lago were returned, only for the FBI to find an additional more than 100 classified records when it searched the property in August, bringing the total of classified documents to more than 300. They also recovered around 10,000 government documents in their Aug. 8 search.

Maloney noted that while Trump would not be required under current law to provide such a certification, she cited the “exceptional circumstances” and suggested the committee could pursue legislation requiring such an action in the future.

NARA declined to comment on the letter.

The letter requested that NARA provide an initial report on its inventory by Sept. 27.

NARA’s concern that it may not have recovered all the documents from Mar-a-Lago was aired in an Aug. 24 meeting with the committee.

The letter noted that Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, said he “wouldn’t be surprised if there were more highly classified documents at Bedminster or some other residence of his.”

Maloney pointed to two occasions during which Trump was asked to turn over records but still retained a large tranche: when NARA first reached out to him about recovering documents in May, 2021 and a year later when his custodian of records was served a subpoena to turn over any remaining documents.

–Updated at 12:04 p.m.

Tags Carolyn Maloney Carolyn Maloney classified documents Donald Trump National Archives

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