An aide to former President Donald Trump told the House Jan. 6 committee earlier this year that he saw the commander-in-chief “tearing” up documents, according to a report.
Nick Luna, who served as Trump’s personal aide in the White House, told the House select committee during a deposition on March 21 that he witnessed Trump destroying presidential documents, possibly in violation of the Presidential Records Act, according to CBS News.
“Did I ever see him tear up notes? I don’t know what the documents were but there [was] tearing,” Luna testified to the panel investigating last year’s Capitol riot, according to audio obtained by CBS News.
The Presidential Records Act requires that presidential documents be preserved and given to the National Archives at the end of a president’s time in office.
The 76-year-old former president is currently under investigation by the Justice Department over his handling of presidential records, some of which were stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, after his presidency and recovered by the FBI during an August raid.
Luna reportedly had access to the president during the tumultuous final weeks of his term and was in charge of Oval Office operations. He is reportedly one of the staffers who was regularly in contact with Trump on Jan. 6, 2021.
The leaked audio files also reveal that Luna told House investigators that former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told him not to enter the room ahead of a meeting with state Republican legislators who wanted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“There was one instance where it would normally be my job to go in and make sure that [the] president is comfortable in wherever the situation is,” Luna said. “And I remember, specifically, this instance [Meadows] had said, ‘Do not, don’t come in, don’t come into the room today.’”
Luna told investigators that he wasn’t quite sure why and when Meadows allegedly made the remark.
“I just remember [Meadows] being around the office,” Luna told the House select committee. “I don’t remember if it was the Michigan or Pennsylvania. I didn’t know — I don’t remember that those were the places. But I do remember him on, on one or the other of those being, before going into the meeting, in my office.”
“It may have been one of two or three times that he asked me to do that,” Luna added. “But that’s not — I don’t know if odd would be the right characterization.”
Luna then agreed with investigators characterizing it as a “rare occurrence.”
On Monday, the committee recommended to the Justice Department that Trump be hit with four criminal charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.