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US lawmakers ask Archives agency for accounting of Trump records

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WASHINGTON: A congressional panel on Tuesday sought an urgent review by the US National Archives after agency staff members acknowledged that they did not know if all presidential records from Donald Trump’s administration had been turned over.

House of Representatives Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney also asked the Archives, the federal agency charged with preserving government records, to seek a written certification from the Republican former president that he has handed over all presidential records and classified materials.

Maloney, a Democrat, also wants him to confirm he has not made copies or transferred them anywhere other than to that agency or the Justice Department.

Trump is facing a criminal investigation by the Justice Department for retaining government records — some marked as highly classified, including “top secret” — at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office in January 2021.

The FBI seized more than 11,000 records, including about 100 documents marked as classified, in a court-approved Aug 8 search at Mar-a-Lago. A federal judge is weighing how the documents should be handled as the investigation continues.

National Archives staff “recently informed the committee that the agency is not certain whether all presidential records are in its custody,” Maloney wrote in her letter to Debra Wall, acting archivist of the United States.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2022

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