US House Oversight Panel Launches Probe Into Trump's WH Records Obtained From His Florida Resort
12:09 GMT 10.02.2022 (Updated: 13:28 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Evan VucciPresident Donald Trump speaks before signing a coronavirus aid package to direct funds to small businesses, hospitals, and testing, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 24, 2020, in Washington. From left, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Trump, Small Business administrator Jovita Carranza, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
© AP Photo / Evan Vucci
The US Justice Department was earlier asked by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to investigate the handling of White House records by former president Donald Trump.
A US House Oversight Panel has launched a probe into how Donald Trump's White House records were handled after 15 boxes of presidential records were recovered from the former president's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.
“I am deeply concerned that these records were not provided to NARA promptly at the end of the Trump Administration and that they appear to have been removed from the White House in violation of the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney wrote. “I am also concerned by recent reports that while in office, President Trump repeatedly attempted to destroy presidential records, which could constitute additional serious violations of the PRA.”
It is now suspected that Donald Trump, instead of turning his White House records over to the National Archives at the end of his presidential term, improperly removed 15 boxes of records from the White House and transported them to his Mar-a-Lago residence, and then destroyed some of them. The allegations were first reported by The Washington Post earlier in the week.
In her letter to the Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, Maloney pointed out that Republicans had "obsessively investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton" for her use of a private email server for official communications. What Trump allegedly did, according to Representative Maloney, involves a potential violation of the law.
"Former President Trump’s conduct, in contrast, involves a former president potentially violating a criminal law by intentionally removing records, including communications with a foreign leader, from the White House and reportedly attempting to destroy records by tearing them up," she said.
According to The Washington Post, NARA has requested that the Justice Department look into the allegations of Trump mishandling his presidential records. It is unclear whether the DoJ will pursue the investigation.
Presidential Records Drama
Trump has denied any wrongdoing with regard to the handling of his presidential records. According to the former president, he engaged with NARA in a “collaborative and respectful” way and had arranged for the “transport of boxes that contained Presidential Records in compliance with the Presidential Records Act”.
His White House records have been wanted by the House Select Committee that investigated the 6 January Capitol riot, which Trump was accused of inciting. The ex-president, who has denied any involvement in Capitol riot, has also opposed the handing of his presidential records to the Jan 6 panel and claimed executive privilege. He refers to the panel as the "Unselect Committee", asserting that its investigation is "biased" and "partisan".