Trump staffers not returning White House records, National Archives says

By Doina Chiacu
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former President Donald Trump's administration has not turned over all of the president's records, and the National Archives will consult with the Justice Department on whether to make an effort to get them back, the agency told Congress.
A congressional panel on Sept. 13 requested an urgent review from the National Archives and Records Administration after agency officials admitted they did not know whether all presidential records had been turned over from Trump's White House.
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"While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we know we are not accountable for everything we should," Acting Archivist Debra Wall said in a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Friday.
The archives know some White House staffers have conducted official business using personal email accounts that have not been duplicated or forwarded to their official accounts, in violation of the Presidential Records Act, Wall said.
"NARA has been able to obtain such records from a number of former officials and will continue to pursue the return of similar types of presidential records from former officials," Wall said in the letter, first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
She said the Archives, the federal agency charged with keeping government records, will be consulting with the Justice Department "whether to initiate a lawsuit to recover unlawfully removed records."
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The oversight committee shared a copy of the letter with Reuters, but has not yet issued a statement on it.
Trump officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Trump faces a criminal investigation by the Justice Department for storing government records — some classified, including “top secret” — at his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, after leaving office in January 2021.
The FBI seized more than 11,000 records, including about 100 documents marked as classified, in a court-authorized search Aug. 8 in Mar-a-Lago.
The Justice Department and Trump's attorneys are locked in a legal battle over how to handle the records. Government attorneys were granted access to the classified documents, but on Friday an appeals court asked to expedite its access to the non-classified documents seized in Florida.
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(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
donald trump
45th President of the United States
Debra Steidel Wand
American archivist

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