National Archives Asks Ex-Presidents, VPs to Fork Over Any Classified Docs in Their Personal Records
The Department of Justice is investigating how former President Donald Trump and US President Joe Biden handled classified documents after reports recently revealed Biden also failed to follow security protocols on protected records.
The National Archives has sent letters to living former presidents and vice presidents asking them to verify they are not holding onto classified documents that should have been transferred to the department at the end of their respective terms in office.
While it has not been reported who the letters were sent to, they were likely sent to former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as former Vice Presidents Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle.
Former President Jimmy Carter was likely not contacted because he left office on January 20, 1981, the same day the Presidential Records Act went into effect.
The letters come after classified documents were found in the home of President Biden and at a think tank associated with the president. The documents come from Biden’s time as vice president under the Obama administration. Earlier this week, classified documents were also found at Pence's Indiana home.
Both discoveries came months after the FBI seized more than 100 classified documents from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate last summer. The raid on the former president’s home was the result of a nearly yearlong investigation. Prior to the raid, Trump turned over nearly 200 other classified documents.
Under the Presidential Records Act, the Archives takes ownership of presidential papers as soon as they leave office. Presidents and vice presidents are allowed to take personal items but the hundreds or thousands of classified documents are supposed to be turned over to the Archives immediately.
A source told the Washington Post that all classified records from Obama’s time in office were turned over when he left the White House. The other former presidents and vice presidents have not commented on the letters.