The documents have not been returned, despite White House counsel telling Trump to hand them over, the archives say.



CNN

Trump-era records have not been returned to the government in the waning days The Donald Trump presidency According to a May 2021 email sent by National Archives and Records Administration chief counsel Gary Stern to Trump’s lawyers, despite his White House counsel’s determination that they should be.

The contents of the email were confirmed to CNN by a source familiar with the matter. The Washington Post First reported by email.

Stern wrote in an email, “It is our understanding that nearly two dozen boxes of original presidential records were kept in the White House residence during President Trump’s last year in office and were not transferred to NARA. Pat Cibolone’s determination in the administration’s final days that they should be. I had raised this concern with Scott in recent weeks.

“Scott” refers to Scott Gast, another Trump lawyer copied in the message.

Cipollone, along with his former deputy Patrick Philpin, were appointed by Trump shortly before he left office to deal with issues related to his presidential records.

CNN could not reach Cipollone for comment via email.

Newly notified email Underlining the efforts of the National Archives, The investigation into the president’s handling of records has heated up, with accusations that the president collected and classified documents to retrieve Trump-era documents. FBI A search warrant was executed At the former president’s Florida home earlier this month, federal agents removed boxes of material from the property.

The National Archives previously said at least 15 boxes of White House records — including some classified — were recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in January. In its search earlier this month, the FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents, including some material marked “Top Secret/SCI” — one of the highest levels of classification.

CNN reported earlier The Archives is working to get the presidential records back from Trump throughout 2021.

According to a source familiar with the matter, there have been about a dozen emails and calls throughout the year as archivists try to get Trump to return presidential documents.

In the final weeks of the administration, the National Archives learned it was looking for certain documents because the White House Records Office alerted the archives that they had never received them from the president’s team — including a map of Hurricane Dorian. Disparagingly changed With a Sharpie marker, Letter From former President Barack Obama to Trump and Kim Jong Un “Love Letters.”

Archivists were aware of the disappearance of White House Records Administration documents before Trump left office.

Also, the source said, the archive knew about two dozen boxes in the house even while Trump was in office.

But there was no inventory or documentation of what exactly was in those boxes.

Shortly after Trump left office, negotiations between the documents and Trump’s team to return the documents began, according to sources familiar with the matter. The source said there were several phone calls and communications to get the boxes back, but to no avail.

Finally, in January 2022, Trump agreed to return 15 boxes — not 24 boxes — that the archives didn’t know were kept at his home at Mar-a-Lago — boxes that the archives determined contained classified documents.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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