Aug 28, 2022 - Politics & Policy

National Archives hit with threats after Trump search

People look at the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives

People look at the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Archives in April 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The National Archives and Records Administration has faced a spike in threats and vitriol in the weeks since the FBI's search of former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.

Why it matters: The National Archives isn't the only federal agency facing a deluge of threats. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have also seen a surge in threats toward law enforcement after the Mar-a-Lago search.

What they're saying: “NARA has received messages from the public accusing us of corruption and conspiring against the former President, or congratulating NARA for ‘bringing him down,’” acting archivist Debra Steidel Wall wrote in an email to staff on Wednesday, the Washington Post reported.

  • “Neither is accurate or welcome," Steidel Wall wrote of the two types of messages.

The big picture: The National Archives has been engaged in a protracted battle for the recovery of documents from the Trump administration.

  • After the agency retrieved 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago in January, it later confirmed that it found classified information among the documents.
  • Officials at the National Archives believed more materials were still missing and referred the matter to the Department of Justice, per the Washington Post.
  • The FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago this month led to the removal of 11 sets of classified information, including "Various classified/TS/SCI documents" — referring to documents containing "top secret" or "sensitive compartmented information."
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