The National Archives and Records Administration has told Congress that it has yet to retrieve all records from the Trump administration, pointing out that electronic messages from some White House staffers are still missing.
The Archives also said it would consult with the Justice Department about how to proceed and recover records that were “unlawfully removed.”
“While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,” Acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall wrote in a letter to Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).
Wall added that the agency is aware that some White House staffers used personal electronic messaging accounts while conducting business while the 45th president was in office and that those records were not copied or moved to their official accounts — a violation of the federal Presidential Records Act.
The law, enacted in 1978, says presidential records are government property and must be preserved.
“NARA has been able to obtain such records from a number of former officials and will continue to pursue the return of similar types of presidential records from former officials,” Wall said in the letter.
Wall’s revelation comes after the FBI carried out a raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Aug. 8 in search of classified documents the former president removed from the White House.
The Justice Department has said that more than 100 classified documents were recovered from the oceanfront resort, including many that were marked top secret and confidential and can only be accessed by the president, Cabinet officials and a handful of government employees on a need-to-know basis.
Trump sought and was granted a special master to review the records to separate documents that are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege.
The case continues to work its way through federal courts even as the Justice Department continues its investigation.
With Post wires