House Oversight chair vows to 'fully investigate' 15 boxes of White House records 'stashed away' at Mar-a-Lago

House Oversight chair vows to 'fully investigate' 15 boxes of White House records 'stashed away' at Mar-a-Lago

In January, according to the Washington Post, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) retrieved 15 boxes of documents from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida — documents that, under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, should have remained in Washington, D.C. Now, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Oversight Committee, is calling for a full investigation.

When Trump was president, he had a reputation for tearing up documents — which, his critics say, was a violation of the Presidential Records Act. And Maloney, who became House Oversight chair following the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in 2019, wants to know what those 15 boxes of documents were doing at Mar-a-Lago. According to Maloney, all of those documents should have been turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration while Trump was still in the White House.

Maloney, on February 7, told the Post, “The reporting on former President Trump’s apparent removal of presidential records and his failure to turn the records over to the National Archives for over a year is deeply troubling, but not surprising. I sounded the alarm, in December 2020, about the danger that the former President and senior Trump Administration officials were not properly transferring presidential records to the National Archives. And unfortunately, we now know that was the case. I plan to fully investigate this incident to ensure the law is followed and records from the Trump Administration are with the National Archives where they belong, rather than stashed away in Trump’s golf resorts.”

Post reporters Jacqueline Alemany and Theodoric Meyer note that according to the National Archives, “even more presidential records might be coming.” The 15 boxes of documents, the National Archives said in an official statement, “should have been transferred to NARA from the White House at the end of the Trump Administration in January 2021.”

David S. Ferriero, chief administrator of the National Archives stated, “The Presidential Records Act is critical to our democracy, in which the government is held accountable by the people. 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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