House panel expands probe into Trump's handling of documents

WASHINGTON — A House committee on Friday expanded its investigation into the destruction and removal of White House documents by former ...


WASHINGTON — A House committee on Friday expanded its investigation into the destruction and removal of White House documents by former President Donald J. Trump, demanding more information about classified documents found at Mr. Trump in Florida and reporting that aides discovered documents in a White House restroom during his tenure.

In a letter to the National Archivist, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and chair of the Oversight Committee, said the committee was seeking a detailed description of the contents of 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Palm Beach compound, including their classification level, and any records he “ripped up, destroyed, mutilated or attempted to tear up, destroyed or mutilated.” She also said the panel wanted records “regarding White House employees or contractors finding paper in White House restrooms, including the White House residence.”

The letter also requested information about the findings of any federal investigation into the classified documents and any communications with Mr. Trump regarding the Presidential Archives Act or White House record-keeping policies.

“The American people deserve to know the extent of what former President Trump did to hide and destroy federal records and ensure that these abuses never happen again,” Ms. Maloney said in a statement.

The National Archives confirmed in a letter to Ms Maloney last week that he found classified information among the documents Mr. Trump took with him to his home in Florida when he left office last year, and that he consulted with the Justice Department about it.

The archives did not describe the classified material they found, except to say it was “classified national security information”.

The National Archives also stated in his letter that the Trump White House had failed to turn over files containing “certain social media records.”

David S. Ferriero, the National Archivist, also wrote that “certain White House personnel were conducting official business using unofficial email accounts that were not copied or forwarded to their email accounts. officials”. The archives said they were in the process of obtaining some of these documents.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland declined to say this week whether the Justice Department had opened an investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of classified information.

“As the archivist said in a letter sent to Congress, the National Archives has notified and communicated with the Department of Justice,” Garland told reporters. “And we will do what we always do in these circumstances – look at the facts and the law and go from there.”

Mr. Trump’s penchant for tearing up presidential records was revealed in a Politico article from 2018but in recent weeks a series of revelations have raised new questions about the Trump administration’s failure to follow federal record keeping laws and its treatment of confidential information as Mr. Trump left office.

A book slated for release in October by a New York Times reporter revealed how staffers at the White House Residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging toilets, leading them to believe Mr. Trump had tried to rinse them.

In a statement last week, Mr Trump said the material had been turned over to the archives as part of an “ordinary and routine process” and suggested that Democrats’ efforts to raise questions about his handling of the documents were a scam.

“Fake news makes it look like I, as President of the United States, was working in a file room,” he said.

Ms Maloney warned in December 2020 that she believed the Trump administration was not complying with the Presidential Records Act. She wrote a letter to Mr. Ferriero expressing what she called “serious concerns” that the outgoing administration “may not keep records properly and may dispose of them.”

Ms. Maloney announced this month that it was opening an investigationafter the Washington Post reported that Mr Trump had been destroy documents and moving boxes to his property in Florida instead of returning them to the archives.

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Newsrust - US Top News: House panel expands probe into Trump's handling of documents
House panel expands probe into Trump's handling of documents
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