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National Archives Says Some Trump Administration Records Are Still Missing

The Wall Street Journal. 10/1/2022 Siobhan Hughes
© Gary Cameron/REUTERS

WASHINGTON—The National Archives and Records Administration said that it hasn’t recovered all the presidential records that were supposed to be turned over at the end of the Trump administration.

Some White House staff had conducted official business using accounts that weren’t forwarded to their official electronic accounts, the National Archives said in a Sept. 30 letter to House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.).

“While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,” acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall wrote.

The archives had told Ms. Maloney in February that some electronic records from former Trump White House officials were missing. In the new letter, the archivist wrote, “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.”

The letter also said that, as appropriate, the National Archives would consult with the Justice Department on whether to initiate action to recover the records removed in violation of the Presidential Records Act.

Still, the National Archives declined to say whether former President Donald Trump had turned over all presidential records. Ms. Maloney had pressed Ms. Steidel Wall to obtain a written certification from Mr. Trump that he had surrendered all presidential records or classified materials, hadn’t made any copies, and hadn’t turned the documents over to anyone other than the archives or the Justice Department.

“We respectfully refer you to the Department of Justice in light of its ongoing investigation,” Ms. Steidel Wall wrote in the letter.

The letter came in response to a query from Ms. Maloney, who last month had asked her whether any Trump administration presidential records remained unaccounted for.

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