National Archives: Donald Trump removed classified documents from the White House

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WASHINGTON – The National Archives said Friday that documents former President Donald Trump removed from the White House in early 2021 included classified national security information and that it has contacted the Department of Justice about the matter.

The agency "has identified items marked as classified national security information within the boxes" that Trump stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. Fla., the National Archives and Records Administration said in a letter to Rep, Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

The letter – signed by David S. Ferriero, the national archivist – also said that "because NARA identified classified information in the boxes, NARA staff has been in communication with the Department of Justice."

The Archives did not detail its contacts with Justice Department officials or the nature of the classified documents that Trump stored in Florida.

More: Lawmakers ask National Archives to probe whether Donald Trump took White House documents to Mar-a-Lago

Maloney, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and other lawmakers have asked the National Archives and the Justice Department to investigate whether Trump violated the Presidential Records Act. That law requires chief executives to turn over all official records when they leave office.

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After receiving the response from the Archives, Maloney said "these new revelations deepen my concern about former President Trump’s flagrant disregard for federal records laws and the potential impact on our historical record."

The Justice Department had no comment on the Archives' disclosures.

Last month, the National Archives recovered 15 boxes of documents that Trump moved to Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House on Jan. 20, 2021.

More: National Archives obtained 15 boxes of presidential records from Mar-a-Lago

Trump said the recovery of the boxes followed "collaborative and respectful discussions" with National Archives, and he denied any wrongdoing in retaining some of his records.

"It was viewed as routine and 'no big deal,'" Trump said in a statement last week. "In actuality, I have been told I was under no obligation to give this material based on various legal rulings that have been made over the years."

Aides carry boxes to Marine One before President Trump leaves the White House, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington.
Aides carry boxes to Marine One before President Trump leaves the White House, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington.

While the letter said the Archives "is in the process of inventorying the contents of the boxes," it also said officials are still trying to recover more Trump administration records.

That includes some "non-official electronic messaging accounts" used by some staff members that "were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts.”

Trump and allies had criticized 2016 election opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of private email during her time as secretary of State.

The National Archives also announced that it has "identified certain social media records that were not captured and preserved by the Trump Administration."

In its letter to Congress, the Archives confirmed that documents recovered from Trump included papers that had been ripped up by the president and taped back together.

The letter added that "a number of other torn-up records that were transferred had not been reconstructed by the White House."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: National Archives: Trump removed classified documents from White House