Former presidents, vice presidents requested to test for categorized information

WASHINGTON — The Nationwide Archives and Information Administration on Thursday requested that former presidents and vice presidents “conduct an evaluation” to find out if they’ve any categorized supplies of their possession.

In a letter to designated information representatives, the Nationwide Archives referenced “a number of situations reported within the media the place information containing categorized info and topic to the Presidential Information Act (PRA) have been recognized exterior of the bodily custody of the Nationwide Archives and Information Administration (NARA).”

“The duty to adjust to the PRA doesn’t diminish after the tip of an administration,” in keeping with the letter, first reported by CNN and later obtained by NBC Information.

Beneath the Presidential Information Act, all presidential and vice presidential information – together with any categorized paperwork – have to be turned over to Archives by the tip of their phrases.

“Due to this fact, we request that you just conduct an evaluation of any supplies held exterior of NARA that relate to the Administration for which you function a chosen consultant underneath the PRA, to find out whether or not our bodies of supplies beforehand assumed to be private in nature may inadvertently include Presidential or Vice Presidential information topic to the PRA, whether or not categorized or unclassified,” the letter stated.

A spokesperson for the Archives declined to touch upon the letter, which was despatched after categorized paperwork have been discovered on the properties of former Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Mike Pence, in addition to an workplace Biden beforehand used.

Each Biden and Pence stated they have been unaware they’d the paperwork till they have been discovered by attorneys.

These discoveries got here after former President Donald Trump was discovered to have left the White Home with over 300 paperwork bearing classification markings. Greater than 100 of these paperwork have been discovered throughout an FBI search of Trump’s Florida property in August. That got here after Trump’s attorneys stated all such paperwork, which had been subpoenaed by federal authorities, had been handed over to the Justice Division.

The places of work of former Presidents Invoice Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama advised NBC Information earlier this week that they have been in compliance with the information legislation.

On Thursday, Bush’s workplace responded to the Archives letter by saying, “Thanks in your be aware. We perceive its objective and stay assured that no such supplies are in our possession.”

The opposite dwelling former president, Jimmy Carter, signed the PRA into legislation in 1978, but it surely didn’t apply to information from his administration.

Former Vice President Dan Quayle’s workplace stated Thursday: “We’ve got not obtained an inquiry from the Nationwide Archives. If we do, we are going to absolutely cooperate.”

Kelly O’Donnell contributed.

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