National Archive Had to Retrieve White House Records from Mar-a-LagoBreaking News
tags: National Archives, Donald Trump, public records, Presidential Records Act
The National Archives and Records Administration last month retrieved 15 boxes of documents and other items from former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence because the material should have been turned over to the agency when he left the White House, Archives officials said Monday.
The recovery of the boxes from Trump’s Florida resort raises new concerns about his adherence to the Presidential Records Act, which requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.
Trump advisers deny any nefarious intent and said the boxes contained mementos, gifts, letters from world leaders and other correspondence. The items included correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which Trump once described as “love letters,” as well as a letter left for Trump by President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the contents.
Two former advisers described a frenzied packing process in the final days of the administration because Trump did not want to pack or accept defeat for much of the transition.
Archives officials confirmed the transfer, which occurred in mid-January, following publication of a version of this story by The Washington Post earlier Monday. The National Archives and Records Administration said in a statement that “these records should have been transferred to NARA from the White House at the end of the Trump Administration in January 2021,” and that Trump representatives are “continuing to search” for additional records.
“The Presidential Records Act is critical to our democracy, in which the government is held accountable by the people,” Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said in the statement. “Whether through the creation of adequate and proper documentation, sound records management practices, the preservation of records, or the timely transfer of them to the National Archives at the end of an Administration, there should be no question as to need for both diligence and vigilance. Records matter.”
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