Former President Donald Trump (right) earlier this week was forced to return 15 boxes of documents he took with him to Mar-a-Lago (Picture: AFP)
The National Archives and Records Administration has reportedly requested that the Justice Department investigate former President Donald Trump’s handling of White House records.
It has led federal law enforcement officials to discuss whether they should probe Trump for a possible crime, two sources told the Washington Post on Wednesday afternoon.
Earlier this week, officials recovered 15 boxes of documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence that he had not returned to the government as he should have.
Talks on the matter are preliminary and it remains unclear whether the Justice Department will investigate or might only be looking to take back classified records, the two sources told the newspaper.
Trump in a statement on Wednesday said he was in ‘collaborative and respectful’ discussions with the Archives and arranged for the ‘transport of boxes that contained Presidential Records in compliance with the Presidential Records Act’.
The Presidential Records Act requires presidential documents to be transferred immediately to the national archivist once he leaves office.
‘Much of this material will someday be displayed in the Donald J Trump Presidential Library for the public to view my Administration’s incredible accomplishments for the American People,’ Trump stated.
The 45th president added that it was a ‘great honor’ to work with the Archives and that the media mischaracterized his relationship with the agency.
The boxes taken from Trump’s Florida home included a letter that ex-President Barack Obama left for him, sources told the Post. It had correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that Trump once called ‘love letters’. In addition, the Archives obtained a Hurricane Dorian map that Trump altered with a black marker in a failed attempt to demonstrate he not been mistaken on the storm’s path.
Archives officials suspect that Trump may have violated laws around handling official records, including ones that are classified, and contacted the Justice Department for a possible probe.
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