Under the Presidential Records Act, all memos, emails, letters, and other papers President Trump touches must be preserved and sent to the National Archives, but that's hard to do when Trump rips documents up to shreds when he's finished with them.
Solomon Lartey, a former records management analyst, and Reginald Young Jr., a former senior records management analyst, told Politico they were among the government officials tasked with using Scotch tape to piece the documents back together. White House aides said Trump likes to rip papers up when he's finished with them, and even when told the paperwork needed to go to the archives, he couldn't kick the habit.
To ensure he wasn't breaking the law, staffers would pick up the pieces, and send the fragments to the records management team. There, Lartey told Politico, they would tape the pieces together — sometimes the paper was merely shredded in half, other times it was basically confetti — and then send the restored papers to their supervisors. From there, the papers went to the National Archives. Lartey said he saw everything from invitations to a letter to Trump from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Young told Politico he was in shock when asked to spend his days taping shredded paper back together. "We're making more than $60,000 a year, we need to be doing far more important things than this," he said. "It felt like the lowest form of work you can take on without having to empty the trash cans." Young and Lartey no longer work in the department — both were terminated this spring and told Politico they have no idea why — but the restoration of paperwork was still taking place before they left. Catherine Garcia