National Archives asks former presidents, vice presidents to check records for classified material

Agency asks officials to check if classified docs "inadvertently" ended up in private collections.

Published: January 26, 2023 2:35pm

Updated: January 26, 2023 6:48pm

The National Archives on Thursday asked former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to re-check any personal presidential records they have for the presence of any classified or otherwise relevant materials within them. 

The Archives sent the letter to those executives and other officials "from the last six presidential administrations covered by the Presidential Records Act," CNN reported on Thursday.

The letter comes after multiple sets of classified documents were found in the last few months in personal collections of now-President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence; in August of last year federal officials conducted a raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence seeking classified documents there as well. 

"The responsibility to comply with the [Presidential Records Act] does not diminish after the end of an administration,” Thursday's National Archives letter states, according to CNN.

"Therefore, we request that you conduct an assessment of any materials held outside of NARA that relate to the Administration for which you serve as a designated representative under the PRA, to determine whether bodies of materials previously assumed to be personal in nature might inadvertently contain Presidential or Vice Presidential records subject to the PRA, whether classified or unclassified.”

The letter was sent to representatives of "Presidents Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, and former Vice Presidents Pence, Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle," the news network said. 

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