House oversight committee asks Archives to review Trump storage unit where classified documents were found

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform has asked the National Archives and Records Administration to investigate whether former president Donald Trump is harbouring presidential records that should’ve been turned over to the archives when he left office in a storage unit where a search firm hired by his lawyers recently found two classified documents.

In a letter to acting Archivist of the United States Debra Wall, Representative Carolyn Maloney voiced concerns that Mr Trump’s storage unit and the other properties in New York and New Jersey that were combed through by a team charged with finding any national defence information contained there could still have “presidential records that were not the focus of the search and therefore have not been turned over to the federal government” stored there.

“This inquiry, which is separate from the Department of Justice’s ongoing criminal investigation into Mr. Trump’s actions, seeks to understand the full extent and impact of former President Trump’s violations of the [Presidential Records Act] in order to ‘determine what additional steps, including potential legislative reforms, may be needed to ensure the preservation of presidential records for the American people,’” Ms Maloney wrote.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that the outside search firm retained by Mr Trump’s legal team found two classified documents at a storage unit retained for Mr Trump’s use at a West Palm Beach, Florida facility by the General Services Administration. The storage locker, which GSA officials rented for the ex-president last year, was meant to hold items that were at an office used by his transition team in Arlington, Virginia.

A person familiar with the matter told the Post the contents of the unit was dominated by such items as suits and swords and wrestling belts and all sorts of things”.

“To my knowledge, [Mr Trump] has never even been to that storage unit. I don’t think anyone in Trump World could tell you what’s in that storage unit,” the person said.

It’s unclear whether the House committee will be able to follow through on Ms Maloney’s request, as the Democratic majority that currently controls the House will lose power when the GOP takes over on 3 January.