Apr 7, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House Oversight Dems: DOJ "obstructing" investigation into Trump records

Picture of Donald Trump

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Thursday sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland arguing that the Justice Department is "obstructing" its investigation into former President Trump's handling of White House records.

Driving the news: The committee's majority had asked the National Archives and Records Administration to provide "a detailed description" of the records that the agency had retrieved from Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence. However, National Archivist David Ferriero said that after consulting with the DOJ, NARA could not "provide any comment" on the records.

What they're saying: "By blocking NARA from producing the documents requested by the Committee, the Department is obstructing the Committee’s investigation," House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote in the letter.

  • "The Committee does not wish to interfere in any manner with any potential or ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice. However, the Committee has not received any explanation as to why the Department is preventing NARA from providing information to the Committee."

The intrigue: The Washington Post reported that DOJ is planning to launch its own investigation into Trump's removal of presidential records, some of which were labeled as "top secret."

  • A source familiar with the matter did not dispute the Post report, but stressed to Axios the part that says the probe is in its "very early stages."
  • DOJ did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Catch up fast: The committee announced in February that it would start investigating Trump's handling of White House records, arguing that he may have violated the Presidential Records Act.

  • The act requires presidents to preserve written communications concerning their official duties, and those must be handed over to the national archivist as soon as a president leaves office.

Read the House Oversight Committee's letter:

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