Congress asks National Archives for more documents that Donald Trump destroyed

Congress asks National Archives for more documents that Donald Trump destroyed
White House photo

The House Oversight Committee is turning up the heat in its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s potentially criminal mishandling of 15 boxes of classified documents that were discovered casually tucked away inside Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida after he left office.

Congressional investigators believe that Trump’s confiscation of White House records, which belong to the American people, may have violated the Presidential Records Act. A significant number of them were shredded or torn up when they were handed over to the Committee by Trump and his staff.

The Archives was initially slated to conclude its review on Friday.

In a letter sent to the National Archives on Thursday, Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), the Committee chair, requested “more of the mishandled presidential records, detailed explanations from the Archives about what it found in boxes kept at Trump's Florida resort until recently, including what classified information was found, and still-secret communications between the Trump White House and the Archives regarding handling of government records,” according to reporting by CNN.

“The committee has expressed concern that classified documents were in the Mar-a-Lago cache, that Trump regularly tore apart memos despite being warned not to and that White House staff didn't keep complete records of their messages on encrypted apps or from social media,” the outlet explained.

In her letter, Maloney wrote that “the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provided new details of what appear to be the largest-scale violations of the Presidential Records Act since its enactment.”

The Committee asked the Archives “to deliver any documents or communication relating to the use of personal messaging accounts for official business, the attempted or actual destruction of any documents, and any information about conversations between staffers and Trump about the Presidential Records Act,” per CNN.

On that list are “Rudy Giuliani, Ivanka Trump, Mark Meadows, former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, former senior counselor to Trump Kellyanne Conway, former trade adviser Peter Navarro and former Trump assistant press secretary Chad Gilmartin,” CNN noted.

The letter also requests that the Archives hand over records of those who had knowledge of Trump’s attempts to flush White House records down the toilet, including “former chiefs of staff [Mark] Meadows, John Kelly and Reince Priebus. It also seeks this information specifically from former Trump White House Counsels Don McGahn and Pat Cipollone,” CNN learned.

Additional information is sought from “Trump's former personal assistant Nicholas Luna, former White Staff Secretary and Counselor to Trump Derek Lyons, former Trump White House Deputy Counsel Stefan Passantino, former Trump White House Staff Secretary Robert Porter, and Former Director of Trump Oval Office Operations Madeleine Westerhout,” CNN added.

The Committee wants the Archives to respond between March 10th and March 17th.

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