OCTOBER 11, 2022
Reuters/BRIAN SNYDER. –
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Archives, the federal agency responsible for preserving U.S. government records, on Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump’s claim that his predecessors had retained “millions” of White House documents.
Trump faces a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into whether he illegally retained documents from the White House when he left office in January 2021 and whether he tried to obstruct the probe. The FBI seized roughly 11,000 documents during a court-approved search at his Florida home on Aug. 8, including 100 marked as classified.
At a rally in Arizona on Sunday, Trump accused three former presidents – Republicans George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton – of taking millions of documents and storing them in unsecure locations including a Chinese restaurant, a bowling alley and a car dealership.
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), without naming Trump, said it took possession of all records from those three former presidents. The agency previously rejected a similar claim that Trump had made about his immediate predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, which he repeated on Sunday.
The National Archives said it moved the records of those former presidents to temporary facilities located near future presidential libraries.
“All such temporary facilities met strict archival and security standards, and have been managed and staffed exclusively by NARA employees,” the agency said in a statement.
“Reports that indicate or imply that those presidential records were in the possession of the former presidents or their representatives, after they left office, or that the records were housed in substandard conditions, are false and misleading,” it added.