National Archives says some Trump administration records are still missing

A view of the National Archives and Records Administration building in Washington, D.C.
(Image credit: Caroline Brehman/Getty Images)

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has sent a letter to the House Oversight Committee claiming that they have still not received some records from the former Trump administration, potentially adding a new layer to the investigation as legal proceedings into the former president continue to heat up.

As required by the Presidential Records Act, these records should have all been turned over to the federal government upon the transfer of power to the Biden administration. However, NARA's letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, said that members of Trump's administration had kept "non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts."

"While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should," the letter added.

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The letter also noted the ongoing lawsuit related to former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, who is currently being sued by the Justice Department for similarly failing to give NARA records of private emails during his time at the White House. As the Post noted, the Presidential Records Act requires the immediate staff of the president and vice president to archive official records and phone calls.

This deep dive into Trump's handling of presidential records comes as the Justice Department continues to push its investigation of classified documents seized by the FBI from the former president's Mar-a-Lago home. Some of these documents were allegedly related to nuclear secrets, as well as lists of classified American intelligence officers.

The FBI said that it seized more than 300 boxes in total from Trump's estate, many of which were reportedly packed in boxes in an unsecured room.

The chair of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), had previously requested that NARA determine if it was missing any documents. In a statement responding to the letter, Maloney said, "Presidential records are the property of the American people, and it is outrageous that these records remain unaccounted for 20 months after former President Trump left office."

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