Trump snatched classified material from the White House to Mar-a-Lago
Will this incident, which the Department of Justice has been informed of, prompt another investigation?
On Friday, the US National Archives confirmed that officials found classified material stashed away in boxes of documents that Trump took from the White House; the Department of Justice was alerted of the findings.
David Ferriero, an official from the National Archives and Records Administration (Nara), said in a letter that it had “identified items marked as classified national security information in the boxes”.
“Because Nara identified classified information in the boxes,” he wrote, “Nara staff has been in communication with the Department of Justice.”
This information will most likely prompt an investigation by the oversight committee of the White House into whether Trump violated the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which prohibits the destruction or extraction of documents from the White House.
Furthermore, the agency also revealed that tweets from Trump's personal Twitter account, in addition to other tweets from top White House officials - such as Kayleigh McEnany and Peter Navaro - are most likely to have been destroyed forever.
“Some White House staff conducted official business using non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts," said Ferriero.
By the end of January, after several ongoing negotiations with Trump lawyers, the Archives returned 15 boxes of documents that Trump took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home.
The boxes included presidential records and other documents including "love letters" from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a letter left by former US president Barack Obama, and a model of Air Force One.
However, other items were classified, according to the Archives - and, this caused officials to pass the information to the Department of Justice to discuss the legality of these actions.
Carolyn Maloney, the chair of the House oversight committee, said last week that "removing or concealing government records is a criminal offense” and that Trump must be held accountable.
Whether or not a criminal investigation will be opened into the matter is unclear, and the DoJ declined to comment.
Read more: Trump must testify in New York fraud probe: Judge rules
Biden orders release of Trump White House logs to Congress
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden has ordered the release of Trump White House visitor logs to a House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 incident, defying former President Donald Trump's claims of executive privilege once again.
The Committee has asked the National Archives for a plethora of information, including presidential records that Trump has battled to keep private. The records being disclosed to Congress include visitor logs that detail who was allowed to enter the White House on the day of the insurgency and when they were authorized to do so.
White House counsel Dana Remus said in a letter to the National Archives on Monday that Biden had considered Trump's claim that the records should be kept private because he was President at the time of the attack on the US Capitol, and maintained that it was "not in the best interest of the United States" to do so.
She also pointed out that the Biden administration, like the Obama administration, "voluntarily distributes such visitor logs on a monthly basis," and that the majority of the entries over which Trump asserted the claim would be made public under current policy. A request for a response from a Trump official was not immediately returned.
The Presidential Records Act requires that records created by a sitting president and his staff be preserved in the National Archives, and an outgoing president must turn over the documents to the agency when he or she leaves office. In a case decided by the Supreme Court, Trump attempted but failed to withhold White House papers from a House committee.