National Archives asks past presidents, VPs to check around for 'mishandled' classified docs

"The responsibility to comply with the PRA does not diminish after the end of an administration."

Joshua Young North Carolina

The National Archives sent a letter on Thursday to former presidents and vice presidents formally asking them to check and make sure that they do not have any classified documents in their possession after former President Donald Trump, former Vice-President Mike Pence, and Joe Biden have all been found with classified documents in less than a year.

According to CNN, the letter reads, "The responsibility to comply with the PRA does not diminish after the end of an administration. Therefore, we request that you conduct an assessment of any materials held outside of NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) that relate to the Administration for which you serve as a designated representative under the PRA (Presidential Records Act), to determine whether bodies of materials previously assumed to be personal in nature might inadvertently contain Presidential or Vice Presidential records subject to the PRA, whether classified or unclassified."

"While much of the attention of these instances has focused on the classified information, the PRA requires that all Presidential records of every Administration from Reagan onward must be transferred to NARA, regardless of classification status," the letter states.

The letter went to representatives for former presidents, Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush, and Ronald Reagan, and former vice presidents Dick Cheney, Al Gore, and Dan Quayle.

"Representatives for the four former presidents have all so far told CNN they do not have any classified records in their possession," reports the outlet.

The letters also went to reps for Trump, Biden, and Pence, all of whom have been found with classified documents.

A letter did not go to Jimmy Carter, as he signed the Presidential Records Act which became law after he left office.

Reuters reports that a representative for Obama said his office received a "clean bill of health" from the National Archives.

A representative for George W Bush, Freddy Ford, told Reuters that Bush, "turned all presidential records over – both classified and unclassified – upon leaving the White House."

On Saturday, January 21, six more classified documents were found in Biden's Wilmington, Delaware home dating back to his time in the Senate.

Classified documents were found at Biden's UPenn think tank office in November but the news was not made public until January 9. A second set of classified documents were found in Biden's Delaware home on January 12 next to his Corvette. On January 14, more documents were found in the home. Robert Hur was appointed as a special counsel by US Attorney General Merrick Garland on January 12 to review President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents.

On Tuesday, former VP Pence self-reported that he had classified documents in his Indiana home. In August, the FBI raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence and removed classified documents from the premises.


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