Sep 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House oversight panel seeks review of ‘unaccounted’ Trump documents

Rep. Carolyn Maloney chairs a House Oversight Committee hearing.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee on Tuesday asked the National Archives and Records Administration to determine whether any presidential records suspected to have been taken by former President Trump when he left office remain unrecovered by the government.

Why it matters: Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote in a letter to the Archives that her investigation is aimed at ascertaining the full scope of Trump’s actions and potentially crafting legislative reforms.

What they’re saying: “I urge NARA to seek a personal certification from Donald Trump that he has surrendered all presidential records that he illegally removed from the White House after leaving office,” Maloney wrote to acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall.

  • She also asked for an “urgent review” of the documents recovered from Trump “to assess whether presidential records remain unaccounted for and potentially in the possession of the former president.”
  • The letter cited Trump’s lawyers’ alleged pattern of misleading investigators about the number of documents in their possession, as well as the fact that an inventory of items seized from Mar-a-Lago listed dozens of empty folders with “classified” banners.
  • Maloney said Trump should also certify that he did not make copies of any documents or transfer them to anyone other than the Archives or the Justice Department.

The intrigue: Maloney cited an Aug. 24 call between Archives staff and committee staff in which the Archives “informed the Committee that the agency is not certain whether all presidential records are in its custody.”

What’s next: Maloney requested an initial assessment of the review’s findings by Sept. 27.

  • Spokespeople for Trump and the Archives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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