Archives Says Documents Weren’t Returned Despite White House Counsel’s Order

According to an email that was sent to Trump's legal team in May 2021 by Gary Stern, chief counsel for the National Archives and Records Administration, records from the time period during which Trump was in office were not brought back to the government despite a determination made by his White House counsel that they should have been.

CNN received confirmation from a source who was acquainted with the incident that the contents of the email were accurate. The Washington Post was the first news outlet to report on the email.

According to what Stern learned, approximately two dozen boxes of original presidential records were held in the Residence of the White House throughout President Trump's final year in office, and have not been transferred to NARA, despite a determination by Pat Cipollone in the closing days of the government that they need to be.

One of Trump's other attorneys, Scott Gast, who was copied on the correspondence, is referred to just by his first name here.

Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, who had previously served as Cipollone's deputy, were given the responsibility of handling matters relating to Trump's presidential records soon before Trump left office.

The newly disclosed email sheds light on the efforts being made by the National Archives to recover documents from the Trump administration at a time when an investigation into the handling of presidential records is heating up. The National Archives is responsible for collecting and sorting presidential material. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) carried out a search order at the former president's residence in Florida earlier on this month, removing several boxes of evidence from the premises.

The National Archives has indicated in the past that at least 15 boxes of White House records, some of which were classified, were recovered from President Trump's club at Mar-a-Lago in January. In the beginning of this month, the FBI was successful in recovering 11 different sets of confidential documents. Some of the documents were labelled "top secret/SCI," which is one of the highest levels of classification.

CNN has previously reported that the Archives were working throughout the year 2021 to retrieve papers pertaining to President Trump's time in office.

A person who is knowledgeable with the case has revealed that the National Archives made twelve phone calls and sent twelve emails to President Trump over the course of a year in an effort to get him to return the presidential documents.

The White House Records Office informed the National Archives that they had never received certain documents from the president's team. These documents included the map of Hurricane Dorian that Trump is infamous for altering with a Sharpie marker, the letter from former President Barack Obama to Trump, and the "love letters" from Kim Jong Un. The National Archives was aware that it was looking for these documents in the final weeks of the administration because the White House Records Office informed the Archives that they had never received them from the president's team.

According to the source, the Archives were aware that the White House records administration had identified documents as missing long before Trump left office.

According to the source, the National Archives was aware of the twenty-dozen boxes that were located in President Trump's residence even while he was serving in office.

On the other hand, there was neither an inventory nor any documentation regarding the contents of those crates.

According to a source who is acquainted with the matter, negotiations for the return of the records between the Archives and Trump's staff began immediately after Trump left office. The Archives wanted the documents back. According to the source, numerous phone calls and other forms of communication were made in an effort to retrieve the boxes, but these efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.

Finally, in January 2022, President Trump gave his consent to return 15 of the 24 boxes that the National Archives had identified as containing classified information and that were being stored at his Mar-a-Lago estate. The Archives had decided that the boxes contained classified materials.

The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Cable.

Written by Staff Reports

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