National Archives Requests DOJ Probe Into Trump's Handling Of White House Records

The records administration retrieved boxes of White House documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence that should not have been there.

The National Archives and Records Administration has asked the Justice Department to investigate whether former President Donald Trump’s handling of White House records violated the law, The Washington Post and NBC News reported Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the National Archives announced that it had retrieved 15 boxes of White House documents that had been moved to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Presidential Records Act requires that the White House preserve and transfer all written communication related to a president’s official duties to the National Archives. The items taken to Mar-a-Lago should have instead been transferred to the records administration as soon as Trump’s presidency ended in January last year.

Trump also turned over presidential records that had been torn up. The National Archives said it had to tape them back together to be given to lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Archives officials suspect that Trump violated the law concerning the handling of those documents, including potentially classified materials, and reached out to the Justice Department, two people familiar with the matter told The Post, which first reported the news.

Legal experts told The Post earlier this week that it’s unlikely Trump would be prosecuted for violating the Presidential Records Act. The maximum sentence for concealing or destroying records with willful and unlawful intent is three years of imprisonment.

Among the items that Trump had to return was correspondence with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, as well as a handwritten letter that former President Barack Obama had left in the Oval Office for his successor, according to The Post.

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