Former President Donald Trump took classified material to Mar-a-Lago, the National Archives confirmed on Friday. The confirmation came in response to a Feb. 9 letter from the House Oversight Committee, which has been investigating the matter.
“Because NARA identified classified information in the boxes, NARA staff has been in communication with the Department of Justice,” wrote U.S. Archivist David Ferriero.
“NARA has also learned that some White House staff conducted official business using non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts,” Ferriero added.
The National Archives in January recovered 15 boxes of White House records from Trump’s Palm Beach estate, The Washington Post reported earlier this month. The New York Times reported later that the Archives were concerned the former president had stolen off to Florida with classified material, and that the Archives were consulting with the Justice Department. The Post then noted that some of the records Trump took to his Palm Beach estate were clearly marked as classified, and that some of them held a “top secret designation.”
“I am deeply concerned that these records were not provided to [the Archives] promptly at the end of the Trump Administration and that they appear to have been removed from the White House in violation of the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote in announcing the committee’s investigation. “I am also concerned by recent reports that while in office, President Trump repeatedly attempted to destroy presidential records, which could constitute additional serious violations of the PRA.”
The Post reported last month that some of the White House records obtained by the Jan. 6 committee had been torn up and taped back together, another potential violation of the Presidential Records Act. Trump’s penchant for ripping documents to shreds has now been widely reported. Trump even clogged the White House toilet by trying to flush torn-up printer paper, according to Maggie Haberman of the Times.
Ferriero wrote that the National Archives plan to finish inventorying the 15 boxes of material retrieved from Mar-a-Lago by the end of February.