WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Many electronic communications from members of Donald Trump’s White House team are missing, nearly two years after the administration needed to turn them on, the US National Archives and Records Administration told lawmakers. States (NARA).
According to a letter sent Friday to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, there are still electronic communications between unidentified members of Trump’s team who are not in the agency’s custody, despite the staff’s continued efforts.
Debra Steidl Wall, acting United States Archivist, said in a letter to Oversight President Carolyn Maloney, “While there is certainly no easy way to attribute responsibility, we know we don’t have everything we need.” ” ,
The letter specified how the National Archives would proceed in the future and would consult with the Justice Department about recovering “illegally deleted documents.”
There are several reports that members of the Trump administration used unofficial email accounts in their four years in office. The Presidential Records Act, which states that those documents are government property and must be preserved, requires employees to copy or forward those messages to their official electronic messaging accounts.
The agency said that although it has been able to obtain those documents from some former employees, many are still missing. The Justice Department has already claimed files from a former member of the Trump team, Peter Navarro, who prosecutors say was sending and receiving mail while acting as a business adviser to the president, at least one informal email. Accounts – A ProtonMail account is used. ,
The legal action was taken in August, weeks after Navarro was indicted on criminal charges for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
The House Committee has jurisdiction over the Presidential Records Act, a 1978 law that mandates White House documents to be preserved as property of the US government. The request is part of months of reports between the agency and the committee, which are investigating the Trump administration’s document handling.
The letter also comes nearly two months after the FBI recovered more than 100 highly visible classified documents and more than 10,000 other government documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump’s lawyers gave an affidavit that all government files had been returned.
Maloney and other Democratic lawmakers on the committee have asked the National Archives for an appearance, but this has not happened because of the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the matter.