The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has confirmed that former President Donald Trump took classified national security documents to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House in January 2021.
The New York Times reports that the National Archives sent a letter to Congress in which it confirmed that it has “identified items marked as classified national security information within the boxes” that were removed from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year after the Supreme Court ruled that Trump could not shield January 6th-related documents from the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riots.
“Because NARA identified classified information in the boxes, NARA staff has been in communication with the Department of Justice,” National Archivist David Ferriero wrote in the letter.
While there have been reports for weeks that the National Archives found classified documents in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago records, this is the first time that the agency has publicly confirmed these reports.
In January, after negotiations between the National Archives and Trump’s lawyers, 15 boxes of materials that Trump has taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago were recovered by the National Archives.
“In June 2018, NARA learned from a press report in Politico that textual presidential records were being torn up by former President Trump and that White House staff were attempting to tape them back together,” the archives said in the letter, which was addressed to Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee.
The letter added: “The White House Counsel’s Office indicated that they would address the matter. After the end of the Trump administration, NARA learned that additional paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump were included in the records transferred to us. Although White House staff during the Trump administration recovered and taped together some of the torn-up records, a number of other torn-up records that were transferred had not been reconstructed by the White House.”
Revelations about Trump removing classified documents from the White House weren’t the only intriguing part of the letter, as Ferriero also revealed 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.”