Archives Insists Trump Referral to DOJ Unrelated to House Dems' Probe (Newsmax)
By Nicole Wells | Wednesday, 26 October 2022 01:20 PM EDT
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is insisting that its decision to refer former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago records affair to the Department of Justice (DOJ) had nothing to do with an investigation by House Democrats, according to The Hill.
Responding to Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall said, "there was, in fact, no connection between these two actions," in a Tuesday letter.
A few days after The Washington Post reported the archives had in January recovered documents from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Oversight Committee Democrats sent a letter to the records agency, announcing their probe.
The archives' Office of Inspector General referred the matter to the Justice Department that same day, after discovering multiple sets of classified records among the boxes, The Hill reports.
Wall said the timing was "entirely coincidental."
"At no time and under no circumstances were NARA officials pressured or influenced by Committee Democrats or anyone else," Wall wrote in the letter.
"NARA has at all times acted professionally and without regard to any political or partisan influence with respect to this matter," she continued. "Our actions were for the simple purpose of carrying out our core mission of ensuring that NARA has all Presidential records of former Presidents in our custody and control, as required by the Presidential Records Act, and our responsibilities regarding classified national security information."
House Oversight ranking member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., requested all communications between the archives and the DOJ on the Trump records matter in an Oct. 14 letter.
"The fact that NARA transmitted to DOJ a referral that launched a criminal investigation of the former president the same day the Democrat Chairwoman of the Committee inquired whether the agency had been in contact with DOJ raises serious concerns about whether NARA made the referral after pressure from Committee Democrats," Comer wrote.