Panel is seeking information on classification status of documents that legally should have been handed to national archivist
Clinton knocks Trump for being in ‘trouble’
A US House of Representatives panel looking into the White House documents recovered from Mar-a-Lago appears to be ramping up its investigation with a pointed request for more details on the papers and their contents.
In a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn B Maloney wrote that based on the information her panel has already received about Donald Trump’s removal of records from the White House, she and her colleagues are seeking more specific details about what was in the 15 boxes of documents the former president failed to hand over to the National Archives as required by law.
“The information in your response,” Ms Maloney writes, “suggests that former President Trump and his senior aides may have repeatedly violated the Presidential Records Act and other federal laws, which could severely impact the preservation of records from the Trump Administration.
“The Committee needs additional documents and information uniquely available from NARA to investigate the full extent of this conduct and determine what additional steps, including potential legislative reforms, may be needed to ensure the preservation of presidential records for the American people.”
The letter goes on to list numerous specific requests, crucially including “identification of any items that are classified and the level of classification”, as well as “all presidential records transferred to NARA that NARA learned former President Trump had torn up, destroyed, mutilated, or attempted to tear up, destroy, or mutilate.”
When the boxes were first recovered from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, it was initially claimed that they mostly contained unimportant items, but it quickly emerged that among their contents were letters between Mr Trump and world leaders including Kim Jong-un.
As the scandal grew, Mr Trump and many on the right seized on a court filing from special counsel John Durham that they claimed revealed that Hillary Clinton had illegally spied on him as part of a fake investigation into his alleged connections with Russia.
However, the story was inaccurate and did not stand up to scrutiny, and the claims about the supposed hacking of the Trump White House faded from the news cycle.
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