US oversight committee expands investigation into Trump destruction of records
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US oversight committee expands investigation into Trump destruction of records

The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform expanded its investigation Friday into former President Donald Trump’s removal, loss, and destruction of presidential records.

Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney sent a letter to National Archivist David Ferriero requesting additional information relating to Trump’s handling of those records. In the letter, Maloney stated:

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provided new details of what appears to be the largest-scale violations of the Presidential Records Act since its enactment. I am deeply concerned that former President Trump may have violated the law through his intentional efforts to remove and destroy records that belong to the American people. This Committee plans to get to the bottom of what happened and assess whether further action is needed to prevent the destruction of additional presidential records and recover those records that are still missing.

Ferriero confirmed last week that NARA found classified documents among 15 boxes Trump took from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago residence. These “boxes reportedly contained correspondence and letters from world leaders, including correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and a letter former President Barack Obama left for his successor.” Maloney’s recent letter noted that Ferriero failed to provide all the information the Committee previously requested. It also made twelve additional requests pursuant to the Presidential Records Act.

Among those requests, the Committee asked NARA to produce documents and communications “relating to the preservation or destruction of records from social media accounts, including direct messaging on social media accounts.” This portion of the request urged NARA to “prioritize producing records from the following custodians: Andrew Giuliani, Chad Gilmartin, Ivanka Trump, Kayleigh McEnany, Kellyanne Conway, Mark Meadows, and Peter Navarro.”

Of the twelve requests, five must be fulfilled by March 10, 2022, and the remaining seven must be fulfilled by March 17, 2022. Maloney’s letter reminded Ferriero that the Committee “has broad authority to investigate ‘any matter’ at ‘any time’ under House Rule X” and “has legislative jurisdiction over the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act and has a long history of conducting oversight related to compliance with these laws.”