National Archives says it's still missing some Trump White House records it should have received under the Presidential Records Act
- The National Archives told Congress on Friday that records from Trump's White House are still missing.
- It is pursuing messages sent by officials who conducted official business on personal messaging accounts.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) informed Congress on Friday that it still doesn't have all the records from White House officials that it should have received under the Presidential Records Act at the end of the Trump administration.
"We do know that we do not have custody of everything we should," said Debra Steidel Wall, the acting archivist of the US, in a letter sent to the House Oversight Committee. The letter was published on Saturday by Axios and several other media outlets.
In her letter to New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the panel's chairwoman, Wall said NARA was pursuing messages sent by several unnamed White House staffers who conducted official business on personal messaging accounts.
"White House staff conducted official business using non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts," Wall said, citing Section 2209 of the Presidential Records Act.
This section of the law requires the staff of the President and Vice President to copy or forward messages to an official electronic messaging account not later than 20 days after their creation or transmission.
NARA said although it had been able to obtain such records from a number of former White House officials, it would continue to "pursue" the return of similar types of records from others.
It would "consult with the Department of Justice" on whether "to initiate an action for the recovery of records unlawfully removed," the letter said.
The letter cited a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department in August against Peter Navarro, who served as a trade adviser in the Trump administration, which accused him of "wrongfully retaining" presidential records.
The DOJ alleged in its lawsuit that Navarro violated the Presidential Records Act. According to the complaint, Navarro used a ProtonMail account to send and receive communications and did not copy them to his official government account.
The letter also referred to Justice Department's ongoing investigation into whether former President Donald Trump has surrendered all presidential records.
NARA tried to retrieve classified documents from Trump for more than a year before the FBI searched his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, on August 8. More than 11,000 government records, including at least a hundred classified documents, were seized in the raid.
In a statement on Saturday, Maloney said: "It is outrageous that these records remain unaccounted for 20 months after former President Trump left office.
"Former President Trump and his senior staff have shown an utter disregard for the rule of law and our national security by failing to return presidential records as the law requires."
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