- The Washington Times
Friday, February 25, 2022

The House Oversight Committee said Friday it is expanding its probe into former President Donald Trump’s handling of presidential records after archivists identified items marked as classified in boxes recovered from his Mar-a-Lago estate, plus his reported penchant for tearing paper records to pieces.

Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, New York Democrat, said she is worried that additional records will be destroyed and wants to know if more records need to be recovered.

“In response to a request from the committee, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provided new details of what appears to be the largest-scale violations of the Presidential Records Act since its enactment,” Mrs. Maloney wrote to David S. Ferriero, the archivist of the United States. “I am deeply concerned that former President Trump may have violated the law through his intentional efforts to remove and destroy records that belong to the American people.”

Democratic investigators said they are responding to recent updates from the archives agency, which said Mr. Trump personally tore up records while serving as president and that White House staff taped together some of them but some records haven’t been reconstructed.

An upcoming book by a New York Times reporter claims White House staff frequently found pieces of paper clogging the toilets in the residency, where Mr. Trump lived with his family during his presidency.

Mr. Trump, in a statement, called the claim “categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book.”

Democrats said they are also concerned the Trump administration failed to preserve presidential records on social media platforms, including the former president’s deleted tweets, posts on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, and direct or private messages on those social media accounts.  

Mrs. Maloney told Mr. Ferriero to provide an inventory of the boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago “and information on any classified documents, as well as documents from the Trump administration related to the former President’s destruction of records, the preservation of social media accounts, and related topics.”

• Susan Ferrechio contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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