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National Archives Releases Records Tied to Trump Classified Documents

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/31/2023 Jason Leopold
Donald Trump speaks outside the White House in 2019. © Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg Donald Trump speaks outside the White House in 2019.

(Bloomberg) -- The National Archives and Records Administration released a cache of documents related to its retrieval of 15 boxes of presidential records improperly stored at Mar-a-Lago by former President Donald Trump.

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The documents released Tuesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Bloomberg News and other public records requests include a freight bill showing that shipping the records, which weighed 500 pounds, from Florida to Washington cost the US government nearly $5,000. 

NARA also released heavily redacted emails related to its discussions with the Justice Department, Congress, the White House and Trump’s representatives about its attempts to claw back the boxes. The agency withheld hundreds of pages from disclosure, including an inventory of the records, citing ongoing law enforcement proceedings and other exemptions under the FOIA. 

Last November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, to oversee the inquiry that began with the unprecedented Aug. 8 search of Trump’s Florida estate to retrieve the documents.

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Since then, President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence disclosed that a small number of classified records were also found at their residences and offices. 

Garland also appointed in January a special counsel, Robert Hur, to probe “the possible unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or other records discovered” at Biden’s think tank in Washington and his home in Wilmington, Delaware. 

(Updates with details, beginning in second paragraph.)

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