NATIONAL NEWS

National Archives: Trump took classified items to Mar-a-Lago

Feb 18, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:39 pm
FILE: Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. (Pho...
FILE: Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on September 25, 2021 in Perry, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Classified information was found in the 15 boxes of White House records that were stored at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, the National Archives and Records Administration said Friday in a letter that confirmed the matter has been sent to the Justice Department.

The letter from the agency follows numerous reports around Trump’s handling of sensitive and even classified information during his time as president and after he left the White House. The revelation could also interest federal investigators responsible for policing the handling of government secrets, though the Justice Department and FBI have not indicated they will pursue.

Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, though it is possible that Trump could try to argue that, as president, he was the ultimate declassification authority.

No matter the legal risk, it exposes him to charges of hypocrisy given his relentless attacks during the 2016 presidential campaign on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. The FBI investigated but ultimately did not recommend charges.

Trump recently denied reports about his administration’s tenuous relationship with the National Archives and his lawyers said that “they are continuing to search for additional presidential records that belong to the National Archives.”

The letter from the archivists in response to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which is investigating, also details how certain social media records were not captured and preserved by the Trump administration. And it also says that the agency learned that White House staff frequently conducted official business using unofficial messaging accounts and personal phones.

Those staff did not copy or forward their official messaging counts, as required by the Presidential Records Act. The letter also goes on to reveal that after Trump left the White House, the National Archives learned that additional paper records that had been torn up by the former president had been transferred to the agency.

“Although White House staff during the Trump Administration recovered and taped together some of the torn-up records, a number of other torn-up records that were transferred had not been reconstructed by the White House,” the letter continued.

Lawmakers are also seeking information about the contents of the boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago but the agency cited the records act as holding them back from divulging.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, said in a statement Friday that “these new revelations deepen my concern about former President Trump’s flagrant disregard for federal records law and the potential impact on our historical record.”

She added, “I am committed to uncovering the full depth of the Presidential Records Act violations by former President Trump and his top advisors and using those findings to advance critical reforms and prevent future abuses.”

The Washington Post first reported that the archivist asked the Justice Department to investigate the discovery of 15 boxes of White House records recovered from Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and that the former president had a habit in office of tearing up records both “sensitive and mundane.”

House investigators will be looking to see if Trump’s actions, both during his presidency and after, violated the Presidential Records Act, which was enacted in 1978 after former President Richard Nixon wanted to destroy documents related to the Watergate scandal.

The law mandates that presidential records are the property of the U.S. government, rather than belonging to the president himself. A statute, punishable by up to three years in prison, makes it a crime to conceal or intentionally destroy government records.

___

Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

An illustration shows NASA's DART spacecraft and the Italian Space Agency's LICIACube prior to impa...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

What will be visible when DART spacecraft crashes into tiny asteroid

The NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test aims to make history on Monday at 7:14 p.m. ET when it slams into Dimorphos, a tiny asteroid moon orbiting the larger asteroid Didymos.
1 day ago
NASA’s Artemis I rocket sits on launch pad 39-B at Kennedy Space Center as it is prepared for an ...
MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

Approaching storm may delay launch try for NASA moon rocket

NASA's new moon rocket could face more launch delays, this time by tropical weather.
1 day ago
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey speaks at a Make America Great Again campaign rally on October 19, 2020...
BOB CHRISTIE, AP

Arizona judge: State can enforce near-total abortion ban

Arizona can enforce a near-total ban on abortions that has been blocked for nearly 50 years, a judge ruled Friday, meaning clinics across the state will have to stop providing the procedures to avoid the filing of criminal charges against doctors and other medical workers.
1 day ago
Courtesy 20th Century Studios
23 Sep 22...
Jason Carroll and Lisa Respers France, CNN

James Cameron says ‘Avatar 2’ is ‘more emotional’ than the original

James Cameron spoke to the differences of the new film.
1 day ago
WASHINGTON, DC - File photo: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).(Photo by Liz Lynch/Getty ...
LISA MASCARO AP Congressional Correspondent

McCarthy unveils House GOP’s midterm agenda in Pennsylvania

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday confronted President Joe Biden and the Democratic majority in Congress with a conservative midterm election agenda filled with Trump-like promises, working not only to win over voters but to hold together the uneasy coalition of his own party that has struggled to govern.
1 day ago
A sign is posted in front of a Tesla service center on April 20, 2022 in Fremont, California. Tesla...
Associated Press

Over 1M Teslas recalled because windows can pinch fingers

Tesla is recalling nearly 1.1 million vehicles in the U.S. because the windows can pinch a person's fingers when being rolled up.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
National Archives: Trump took classified items to Mar-a-Lago