Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen and Annie Greyer | CNN
Some of the Trump White House documents, which were handed over to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Event, had to be glued together by the National Archives because they were torn, the agency said in a statement.
The archives, in response to questions from CNN, said that “some of Trump’s presidential records obtained by the National Archives and Records Administration included paper records that were torn up by former President Trump.”
The agency did not explain how officials learned that former President Donald Trump tore the records himself, but the Archives pointed to previous reports that White House records officers had to patch up torn documents during the Trump administration.
“They were transferred to the National Archives at the end of the Trump administration, along with a number of torn documents that were not reconstructed by the White House,” the archive said in a statement. “The Presidential Records Act requires that all records created by presidents be transferred to the National Archives at the end of their term.”
The archives pointed to media reports dated 2018. That’s when Politico reported that the White House had hired staff whose job was partly to recover White House messages and documents that had landed on Trump’s desk that he would rip apart.
Trump’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokesman for the selection committee declined to comment.
The committee recently began receiving documents from the Archives after winning a legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court. Trump sued to keep the documents secret, citing executive privilege. The Biden administration chose not to support Trump’s demands for privileges, and the courts sided with the committee, allowing the documents to be made public.
Committee members said they are still in the process of reviewing the hundreds of pages of papers as part of the publication. While they didn’t reveal everything the documents reveal, court documents have shown that the documents include White House call logs, visitor logs, draft speeches, and three handwritten notes from top advisers.
The committee said the documents are a key part of their investigation.
“We’re glad the Supreme Court has ruled in our favor that we can access them,” Democratic House Representative Benny Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the commission, told CNN earlier this month as the committee began receiving the requested documents. “And we look forward to the National Archives providing them to us.”