House Oversight Committee chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) on Wednesday made good on her promise to investigate ex-President Donald Trump’s handling of White House documents after it was revealed that he’d taken at least 15 boxes of them to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Maloney sent an information request to National Archivist David Ferriero so that her committee could “examine the extent and impact” of Trump potentially violating the Presidential Records Act by failing to hand over the documents to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), according to the Democrat’s letter that was obtained by the Washington Post.
Maloney asked Ferriero for an inventory of all the documents that were retrieved from Mar-a-Lago, plus information on whatever records Trump improperly tried to destroy amid reports of the ex-president ripping up documents.
Additionally, the Democrat wanted to know if NARA was examining the documents to find out if they included any classified material, and whether Ferriero had flagged the issue to Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Maloney highlighted the potentially illegality of Trump’s actions, pointing to the prosecution of former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, who pleaded guilty to taking classified documents from NARA in 2005.
“Former President Trump and his senior advisors must also be held accountable for any violations of the law,” the Democrat wrote in her letter.
The Post’s report on Maloney’s request came after the outlet and the New York Times both reported that NARA had asked the Department of Justice to investigate Trump withholding White House documents.
According to the Times, NARA found that some of the records that the ex-president improperly took may have been classified. The DOJ reportedly told the agency to have its inspector general’s office (OIG) look into it, but it’s unclear if the OIG has done so or if it has referred the issue back to the DOJ.
Trump’s reported habit of tearing documents apparently went further than just tearing: His White House staffers occasionally found wads of printed paper clogging up toilets, according to an excerpt from New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s upcoming book reported by Axios. The staffers reportedly believed the then-president had tried to flush the paper.