The former president’s failure to turn over some documents to the National Archives after leaving the White House will be investigated by the House Oversight Committee, according to the panel’s chair.
speaking with Washington Post on Tuesday, Rep. Carolyn Maloney referred to news that the National Archives was still receiving documents from Mar-a-Lago as recently as last month “troubling, but not surprising”, and vowed to investigate.
“I sounded the alarm in December 2020 about the danger that the former President and senior Trump Administration officials were not properly transferring presidential records to the National Archives and unfortunately, we now know that was the case. I plan to fully investigate this incident to ensure the law is followed and records from the Trump Administration are with the National Archives where they belong, rather than stashed away in Trump’s golf resorts,” she told the newspaper.
The investigation would be the second Democratic-led probe with the potential of investigating Donald Trump, members of his family, and his closest aides and advisers. It would come as the 6 January select committee has vowed public hearings regarding the attack on the Capitol and the action (and inaction) from the White House as Congress was under attack.
Federal law requires outgoing presidents and their staffs to hand over all records before the end of January at the conclusion of their last month in the White House; Mr Trump reportedly has many documents still at his Florida resort where he continues to hold court as a de facto leader of the GOP. Prosecution for violations of the law are rare, as attorneys would have to prove that Mr Trump and his aides knowingly hid the records in question from the National Archives.
Adding to the confusion is the state of the documents themselves; news reports indicated that Mr Trump personally tore up many documents that were required by law to be returned to the Archives for recordkeeping, resulting in aides having to piece them back together.
His former ally and adviser Omarosa Manigault-Newman alleged in an interview that she even saw him eating one of the documents in question.
Mr Trump and his allies have continued to furiously attack the January 6 select committee as more and more damaging revelations about communications from the ex-president’s allies pleading for him to act as the riot unfolded have been released and the committee continues to also investigate the campaign launched by Mr Trump’s inner circle to convince Mike Pence to interfere in the count of the Electoral College results.
The National Records confirmed as recently as Monday that Mr Trump’s team “have informed NARA that they are continuing to search for additional Presidential records” at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Among the documents reportedly sought by the Archives include correspondence with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, as well as a letter left for Mr Trump by his predecessor, Barack Obama.