DOJ Accused Of Obstructing Release Of Trump-Era Documents

( Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday, accusing him of obstructing their probe into former President Donald Trump’s management of White House documents.
The majority of the committee had requested that the National Archives and Materials Administration offer a thorough summary of the records collected from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. National Archivist David Ferriero, on the other hand, claimed that after speaking with the Department of Justice, NARA was unable to offer any comment on the materials.
House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) feels that refusing to provide the Committee with the records requested by the Committee and the Department hinders the Committee’s inquiry.
The Chairwoman also said that the Committee does not desire to interfere with the Department of Justice’s prospective or current investigation. The Committee, on the other hand, has received no explanation from the Department as to why NARA is refusing to provide material to the Committee.
According to The Washington Post, the Department of Justice intends to investigate Trump’s removal of presidential documents, some of which were classified as “top secret.”
A source familiar with the situation did not contradict WAPO’s claim but said that the investigation is still in its very early stages.
The committee said in February that it would open an investigation into Trump’s management of White House papers, alleging that he may have violated the Presidential Records Act. The statute mandates that presidents save written correspondence related to their official duties and turn them over to the national archivist as soon as they leave office.
Here is the House Oversight Committee’s letter:
Dear Attorney General Garland: The Oversight Committee is investigating potential violations of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) by former President Donald Trump, including the removal of records from the White House and potential destruction of records.

As part of this investigation, the Committee requested documents and information from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), including an inventory of 15 boxes of documents recovered from the former president’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

I write today because the Department of Justice is preventing NARA from cooperating with the Committee’s request, which is interfering with the Committee’s investigation.

The Committee has jurisdiction over the PRA and is conducting this investigation in order to determine the full scope of PRA violations by former President Trump and assess whether legislative reforms are needed to ensure presidential records are preserved in accordance with the law.

On February 9, 2022, the Committee wrote to Archivist of the United States David Ferriero about the 15 boxes of presidential records and reports that Mr. Trump attempted to destroy documents while serving as president, in violation of the PRA.

On February 18, 2022, Mr. Ferriero responded with two letters constituting a partial response to the Committee’s request, identifying significant potential violations of the PRA and other federal laws governing the preservation of federal records.