Archives asked for records in 2021 after Trump lawyer agreed they should be

About two dozen boxes of presidential records stored in then-President Donald Trump’s White House residence were not returned to the National Archives and Records Administration in the final days of his term even after Archives officials were told by a Trump lawyer that the documents should be given back, according to an email from the top lawyer at the record-keeping agency.

“It is also our understanding that roughly two dozen boxes of original presidential records were kept in the Residence of the White House over the course of President Trump’s last year in office and have not been transferred to NARA, despite a determination by Pat Cipollone in the final days of the administration that they need to be,” wrote Gary Stern, the agency’s chief counsel, in an email to Trump lawyers in May 2021, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post.

The email shows NARA officials were concerned about Trump keeping dozens of boxes of official records even before he left the White House — concerns that only grew in the coming months as Trump repeatedly declined to return the records. It also showed that Trump’s lawyers had concerns about Trump taking the documents and agreed that the boxes should be returned — at least according to the top Archives officials — while Trump kept the documents.

The previously unreported email — sent about 100 days after the former president left office with the subject line “Need for Assistance re Presidential Records” — also illustrates the myriad efforts Archives officials made to have documents including classified material returned over an 18-month period, culminating with an FBI raid this month at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida.

Cipollone was the White House counsel for Trump and was designated by Trump as one of his representatives to the Archives. A spokeswoman for Cipollone declined to comment Wednesday.

Stern does not say in the email how he determined that the boxes were in Trump’s possession. He wrote that he also had consulted another Trump lawyer during the final days of Trump’s presidency — without any luck. “I had also raised this concern with Scott in the final weeks,” Stern writes in the email, referring to Trump lawyer Scott Gast, who is also copied on the email.

In the email, Stern again asks for the documents to be returned.

Gast did not respond to a request for comment. A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Archives did not respond to a request for comment.

Stern’s email to three Trump lawyers takes an almost pleading tone at times. Cipollone is not copied on the email, which is sent to Gast and two longtime Cipollone deputies.

Stern cites at least two high-profile documents that the Archives knew at the time were missing — letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a letter from former president Barack Obama at the…

Read More:Archives asked for records in 2021 after Trump lawyer agreed they should be

Related Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Latest News Today