Material Recovered From Trump by Archives Included Classified Information (2023)


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The former president, who assailed Hillary Clinton in 2016 for her handling of sensitive material, was confirmed by the National Archives to have taken classified documents with him when he left office.

Material Recovered From Trump by Archives Included Classified Information (1)

By Luke Broadwater and Michael S. Schmidt

WASHINGTON — The National Archives confirmed on Friday that it had found classified information among material that President Donald J. Trump had taken with him to his home in Florida when he left office last year and that it had consulted with the Justice Department about the matter.

The agency “has identified items marked as classified national security information within the boxes,” according to a letter posted on the National Archives and Record Administration’s website.

Last month, the archives retrieved 15 boxes that Mr. Trump took with him to his Mar-a-Lago home from the White House residence when his term ended. The boxes included material subject to the Presidential Records Act, which requires that all documents and records pertaining to official business be turned over to the archives.

The items in the boxes included documents, mementos, gifts and letters. The archives did not describe the classified material it found other than to say that it was “classified national security information.”

(Video) Records Retrieved From Trump By National Archives May Include Classified Material: Reports

Because the National Archives “identified classified information in the boxes,” the agency “has been in communication with the Department of Justice,” said the letter, written by David S. Ferriero, the national archivist, and sent to Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, who has been scrutinizing how Mr. Trump handled presidential records.

Mr. Trump made attacking Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of national security materials a centerpiece of his 2016 presidential campaign. The latest revelations about Mr. Trump’s own laxity with classified information and his haphazard adherence to federal record-keeping laws have drawn cries of hypocrisy from Democrats.

Asked how Republicans would square Mr. Trump’s criticism of Ms. Clinton with his own record, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which at one point approved a resolution condemning Ms. Clinton for using a private email server while she was secretary of state, did not respond.

The New York Times reported last week that among the documents that were sent back to the National Archives were some that archivists believed were classified, and that the agency had consulted with the Justice Department about the discovery.

It is not clear what steps, if any, the Justice Department is taking to address the matter.

Mr. Ferriero’s letter came on the same day that a federal judge rejected Mr. Trump’s request to dismiss three civil suits seeking to hold him to account for his role in the attack on the Capitol last year. And it came a day after a judge in New York ruled that the former president had to answer questions from state investigators examining his company, the Trump Organization, for evidence of fraud.

In the past two weeks, a series of disclosures has raised new questions about the Trump administration’s failure to follow federal record-keeping laws and its handling of classified information as Mr. Trump left office.

(Video) 100 classified documents recovered from Trump estate

More on the Trump Documents Inquiry

  • Privilege Claims: The special master reviewing materials seized from Mar-a-Lago told former President Donald J. Trump’s lawyers to back up their claimsthat certain documents were privilegedand thus could be withheld from the Justice Department's investigation.
  • Supreme Court Request: Without any noted dissents, the justices rejected a request from Mr. Trumpthat the court intervene in the litigationover the documents seized from his Florida estate.
  • A New Detail: A long-serving aide to Mr. Trump is said to have been captured on security camera footagemoving boxes out of a storage room at Mar-a-Lago both before and after the Justice Department issued a subpoena demanding the return of all classified documents.
  • Documents Still Missing?: A top Justice Department official told Mr. Trump’s lawyers in recentweeks that the agency believed he had not returned all the recordshe took when he left the White House, according to two people briefed on the matter.

Focusing attention on a new element of the issue, the National Archives said in its letter on Friday that the Trump White House had failed to turn over records that included “certain social media records.”

The Trump White House, the archives said, failed to take “any steps to capture deleted content from any Trump Administration social media account other than @realDonaldTrump or @POTUS.” The accounts in question included those for aides such as Andrew Giuliani, Chad Gilmartin, Ivanka Trump, Kayleigh McEnany, Kellyanne Conway, Mark Meadows and Peter Navarro that the archives said contained presidential records.

The archives also has not been able to locate any of the Snapchat messages sent by the Trump White House.

Mr. Ferriero also wrote that “some White House staff conducted official business using nonofficial electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts.” The archives said it was in the process of obtaining some of those records.

Among those staff members was Mr. Meadows, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, who recently turned over hundreds of pages of documents to the committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, some of which came from his personal cellphone. The committee said it had questions about why Mr. Meadows had used a personal cellphone, a Signal account and two personal Gmail accounts to conduct official business, and whether he had properly turned over all of the relevant records from those accounts to the National Archives.

Mr. Ferriero made clear in his letter that the archives had been concerned for several years about Mr. Trump’s failure to follow the record-keeping law.

In June 2018, the archives “learned from an article in Politico that textual presidential records were being torn up by former President Trump and that White House staff were attempting to tape them back together,” the letter said.

The letter added, referring to the National Archives and Records Administration: “The White House Counsel’s Office indicated that they would address the matter. After the end of the Trump administration, NARA learned that additional paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump were included in the records transferred to us. Although White House staff during the Trump administration recovered and taped together some of the torn-up records, a number of other torn-up records that were transferred had not been reconstructed by the White House.”

In a statement on Friday night, Mr. Trump said the material had been turned over to the archives as part of “an ordinary and routine process” and suggested that efforts by Democrats to raise questions about his handling of the documents were a scam. “The fake news is making it seem like me, as the president of the United States, was working in a filing room,” he said.

The confirmation by the archives that it had found classified information in the material could present the Justice Department with choices about how to proceed. It could open a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump and his aides mishandled classified information, as it did in Ms. Clinton’s case.

Such an investigation would be highly complex, in part because, as president, Mr. Trump had the ability to easily declassify whatever information he wanted. He could argue that he declassified the materials he took with him before he left the White House.

Regardless of whether the bureau opens a criminal investigation, it often conducts a review to determine whether any of the mishandled information exposed sources and methods, and could have damaged national security.

(Video) Trump Took Classified Documents From White House, National Archives Confirms

The department could also choose to treat the matter as more routine. Senior U.S. officials often mistakenly mishandle classified information, for example by taking it home from work or accidentally using it or discussing it on unsecured channels. In many of those instances, the F.B.I. treats the matter like “a spill” that has to be cleaned up.

In those cases, F.B.I. agents take a range of measures to ensure that any national security secrets that may have been exposed are collected so they can be stored on secure channels, and they scrub, or destroy, electronic devices where the information may have been housed or discussed.

Mr. Trump’s handling of government documents has come under growing scrutiny. A book scheduled to be released in October by a Times reporter revealed how staff members in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet, leading them to believe that Mr. Trump had tried to flush them.

The former president’s use of cellphones to conduct official business also could have led to large gaps in the official White House logs of his calls on Jan. 6, 2021, hindering the House select committee’s investigation into the Capitol riot. If Mr. Trump did not preserve cellphone records and failed to turn them over to the National Archives, that could also be a violation of the law.

Ms. Maloney, the New York Democrat, had warned as early as December 2020 that she believed the Trump administration was not complying with the Presidential Records Act. She wrote a letter to Mr. Ferriero, the national archivist, expressing what she called “grave concerns” that the outgoing administration “may not be adequately preserving records and may be disposing of them.”

Weeks after the Capitol riot, Ms. Maloney requested voluminous materials from the archives, including documents and communications before, during and after the Jan. 6 attack pertaining to the counting of electoral votes and planned demonstrations and violence.

Then, last week, Ms. Maloney announced that she was starting an investigation, after The Washington Post reported that Mr. Trump had been destroying documents and moving boxes to his property in Florida instead of turning them over to the archives.

Ms. Maloney said on Friday that the letter from the archives “confirmed that potentially many more Trump Administration records, including direct messages sent by senior officials on multiple social media platforms, are missing.”

She added, “These new revelations deepen my concern about former President Trump’s flagrant disregard for federal records laws and the potential impact on our historical record.”

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.


What classified documents Did FBI find? ›

Among the items found in one box: 30 news clippings dated from 2008 to 2019, three articles of clothing or “gift items,” one book, 11 government documents marked as confidential, 21 marked as secret and 255 government documents or photographs with no classification markings.

What do you do if you find classified information? ›

If you receive a classified package directly, notify your local Security Office IMMEDIATELY!

Where are classified documents stored? ›

All classified material must be stored in a secure room, a GSA-approved storage container, such as a cabinet or safe or a vault or modular vault, or a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF).

How old is Donald? ›

How do I view classified documents? ›

6 Freedom of Information Sites to See Declassified Documents and...
  1. The FBI Declassified Documents Vault. ...
  2. The CIA Reading Room. ...
  3. National Security Archive. ...
  4. Office of the Director of National Intelligence. ...
  5. Check Your Local University. ...
  6. The Wilson Center: International Declassified Documents.
8 Sept 2021

Who has access to classified information? ›

Classified information may be made available to a person only when the possessor of the information establishes that the person has a valid “need to know” and the access is essential to the accomplishment of official government duties.

How long does classified information Stay classified? ›

After 25 years, declassification review is automatic with nine narrow exceptions that allow information to remain as classified. At 50 years, there are two exceptions, and classifications beyond 75 years require special permission.

What are the 3 types of classified information? ›

The U.S. government uses three levels of classification to designate how sensitive certain information is: confidential, secret and top secret. The lowest level, confidential, designates information that if released could damage U.S. national security.

Can classified information be destroyed? ›

The three primary methods used by the Federal Government to destroy classified documents are incineration, shredding or milling (dry process), and pulping (wet process).

What is considered classified data? ›

Classified information is material that a government body deems to be sensitive information that must be protected. Access is restricted by law or regulation to particular groups of people with the necessary security clearance and need to know, and mishandling of the material can incur criminal penalties.

What are the 4 levels of information classification? ›

Typically, there are four classifications for data: public, internal-only, confidential, and restricted.

Can you make copies of classified documents? ›

§ 2400.30 Reproduction of classified information. Documents or portions of documents and materials that contain Top Secret information shall not be reproduced without the consent of the originator or higher authority. Any stated prohibition against reproduction shall be strictly observed.

What species is Donald? ›

The Walt Disney character Donald Duck is a Pekin duck! It's easy to see the similarity of mallard and Rouen ducks, but how did they get the all white Pekin duck breed from a mallard?

Are Donald and Daisy twins? ›

According to Rosa, Daisy is the sister of Donald's brother-in-law – Daisy's brother had married Donald's twin sister, Della Duck, and together, the two became the parents of Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck.

Who is the oldest US president to be elected? ›

The youngest to become president by election was John F. Kennedy, who was inaugurated at age 43. The oldest person to assume the presidency was Joe Biden, who took the presidential oath of office 61 days after turning 78.

Does the National Archives keep classified documents? ›

Former government officials and contractors have been known to retain papers containing classified national security information and to eventually donate them to private archives. Often, it is not until these records are formally processed that archivists realize a collection contains classified information.

Are declassified documents available to the public? ›

Declassified documents freely available on the web can be found at federal agencies' web sites (search the agency's site for "FOIA" or "electronic reading room"), from presidential libraries, research institutes, or other sites, sometimes presented by subject.

How do I access my CIA documents? ›

The documents will be available on and in the CIA Records Search Tool (CREST) at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. CREST currently houses over 10 million pages of declassified Agency documents.

What are the three requirements that must be met in order to access classified information? ›

(a) A person may have access to classified information provided that: (1) a favorable determination of eligibility for access has been made by an agency head or the agency head's designee; (2) the person has signed an approved nondisclosure agreement; and. (3) the person has a need-to-know the information.

What information is prohibited from being classified? ›

(d) Information shall not be classified in order to conceal inefficiency, violations of law, or administrative error; to prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency; to restrain competition; or to prevent or delay release of information that does not require protection in the interest of national ...

What is a requirement for a transfer of classified information? ›

Before classified information is transferred onto a system, the user must ensure that the system has been accredited to process classified information at the appropriate classification level and category. The user must ensure information being shared is based on a need-to-know.

What is the difference between classified and declassified? ›

The term declassified is used for information that has had its classification removed, and downgraded refers to information that has been assigned a lower classification level but is still classified. Many documents are automatically downgraded and then declassified after some number of years.

What are examples of classified information? ›

Military plans, weapons or operations; Vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects or plans relating to the national security; Foreign government information; Intelligence activities (including special activities) or intelligence sources or methods.

What are the 5 types of data classification? ›

5 data classification types
  • Public data. Public data is important information, though often available material that's freely accessible for people to read, research, review and store. ...
  • Private data. ...
  • Internal data. ...
  • Confidential data. ...
  • Restricted data.
13 Jul 2021

What are the five 5 classification levels of information? ›

Data Classification Levels

Data Classification in Government organizations commonly includes five levels: Top Secret, Secret, Confidential, Sensitive, and Unclassified.

What are the 5 documents you should always destroy? ›

Which Documents Should I Shred?
  • Credit Card and Utility Bills.
  • Bank Statements.
  • I-9 Forms.
  • W-2 and W-4 Forms.
  • Tax Records.
17 Dec 2020

What happens when classified information is leaked? ›

Intentionally disclosing classified information without authorization is a federal crime under the espionage act. Punishment may be up to ten years in prison, a large fine, or could even get you charged with treason.

Can you pulverize classified information? ›

Methods of Destruction.

Classified material may be destroyed by burning, shredding, pulping, melting, mutilation, chemical decomposition, or pulverizing (for example, hammer mills, choppers, and hybridized disin- tegration equipment).

What type of information should be classified? ›

Classified information is that which a government or agency deems sensitive enough to national security that access to it must be controlled and restricted. For example, I dealt with information related to weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation.

What are different types of classification? ›

The three types of classification are Artificial classification, Natural classification, and Phylogenetic classification.

What are the 6 categories of information? ›

6 types of information
  • Conceptual information. Conceptual information comes from ideas, theories, concepts, hypotheses and more. ...
  • Procedural information. ...
  • Policy information. ...
  • Stimulatory information. ...
  • Empirical information. ...
  • Directive information.

What are the methods of classification of data? ›

Data classification methods
  • Manual interval.
  • Defined interval.
  • Equal interval.
  • Quantile.
  • Natural breaks (Jenks)
  • Geometrical interval.
  • Standard deviation.

Why must all documents containing classified information be marked? ›

Markings serve to alert holders to the presence of classified information and technical information with restriction on its dissemination; identify, as specifically as possible, the exact information that needs protection; indicate the level of classification assigned to the information; provide guidance on downgrading ...

What are the two ways that information gets classified? ›

(S) There are two ways to classify a document – ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION or DERIVATIVE CLASSIFICATION. (U) There are three steps when properly marking a classified document: (C) PORTION MARK all paragraphs, subparagraphs, subjects, titles, charts, pictures, etc. of a document.

What species is daffy? ›

American black duck

What are white ducks called? ›

The Pekin is a large domestic duck. Pekin Ducks have pure white feathers with orange legs and bills.

What animal is named after Donald Trump? ›

Dermophis donaldtrumpi is a proposed species of caecilian – a nearly-blind, serpentine amphibian – to be named after Donald Trump.

Who is Huey Dewey and Louie's mom and dad? ›

Huey, Dewey, and Louie are the sons of Donald's sister Della Duck; in Donald's Nephews, their mother is instead named Dumbella.

What does Donald Duck suffer from? ›

Donald Duck has PTSD.

Donald was a temperamental character from as early as his second cartoon, but at first he was only reacting to provocations and rarely tried to hurt anyone. After the war, however, he became a lot more violent and unstable.

Is Donald Duck colorblind? ›

In 1937, he started headlining his own cartoons, and by the mid-1940s, he had become more popular than Mickey himself, starring in more than 100 cartoons over the next two decades. 5. Not only does Donald have flat feet (which you might expect; he is a duck after all), he's also color blind.

Who was president for only 32 days? ›

William Henry Harrison, an American military officer and politician, was the ninth President of the United States (1841), the oldest President to be elected at the time. On his 32nd day, he became the first to die in office, serving the shortest tenure in U.S. Presidential history.

Which president was never married? ›

Tall, stately, stiffly formal in the high stock he wore around his jowls, James Buchanan was the only President who never married. Presiding over a rapidly dividing Nation, Buchanan grasped inadequately the political realities of the time.

Which president had the most children? ›

John Tyler is the president who fathered the most children, having fifteen children over two marriages (and allegedly fathering more with slaves), while his successor, James K. Polk, remains the only U.S. president never to have fathered or adopted any known children.

› donald-j-trump ›

45th President of the United States (January 20, 2017 to January 20, 2021). Full Name: Donald John Trump Nicknames: "The Donald". Born: June 14, 1946,...
Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States. He believes the United States has incredible potential and will go on to exceed even its remarkable ...
Donald. surname, from 13c. Scottish Dofnald, Dufenald, probably from Gaelic Domhnall, Old Irish Domnall (pronounced "Dovnall"), from Proto-Celtic *Dub...

What is the most classified document? ›

Top Secret is the highest level of classified information. Information is further compartmented so that specific access using a code word after top secret is a legal way to hide collective and important information. Such material would cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security if made publicly available.

What type of evidence does the FBI handle? ›

The FBI accepts evidence related to all crimes under investigation by FBI field offices; however, it accepts from other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies only evidence related to violent crime investigations.

Where can I find the declassified documents released today? ›

To request access to the newly released records or to order copies, please contact Archives 2 Reference at 301-837-3510 or

What are the 9 things the FBI Investigates? ›

The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime/drugs, white-collar crime, violent crimes and major offenders, and applicant matters.

How long do classified documents stay classified? ›

After 25 years, declassification review is automatic with nine narrow exceptions that allow information to remain as classified. At 50 years, there are two exceptions, and classifications beyond 75 years require special permission.

How long do classified documents remain classified? ›

13526, Section 3.3(h)(2) allows for agencies to seek the exemption of specific information from automatic declassification at 50 years in “extraordinary cases.” Records containing information exempted from declassification under this provision will be automatically declassified on December 31 of the year 75 years from ...

What are the 3 types of classified information? ›

The U.S. government uses three levels of classification to designate how sensitive certain information is: confidential, secret and top secret. The lowest level, confidential, designates information that if released could damage U.S. national security.

Can FBI agents see what I search? ›

They only look into your internet history if you have public information out there. The public info will be investigated - such as your Facebook, etc. Yet, they do not review your internet history unless there is some form of internet crime that allows for them to review your actual history.

Does the FBI monitor the Internet? ›

Investigations: Law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and some components of DHS, use social media monitoring to assist with criminal and civil investigations. Some of these investigations may not even require a showing of criminal activity.

Can you see if the FBI has a file on you? ›

Your right to inspect your own FBI file is guaranteed under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act. Information about organizations, historical events, investigations, and government policies can be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C.

Can the public view declassified documents? ›

Declassified documents freely available on the web can be found at federal agencies' web sites (search the agency's site for "FOIA" or "electronic reading room"), from presidential libraries, research institutes, or other sites, sometimes presented by subject.

Are declassified documents public record? ›

Most archival records held by NARA are available to the public for research and are either unclassified or declassified. During your research, you may come across "withdrawal notices" or forms that indicate a record is restricted and not available to the public.

How many declassified documents are there? ›

The OpenNet database provides easy, timely access to over 495,000 bibliographic references and 147,000 recently declassified documents, including information declassified in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

How do you know if you are under federal investigation? ›

Usually, you will find out you are under investigation when agents come to your door, or otherwise approach you to ask you questions about a case you are suspected in. You may also hear from others that agents are asking questions about you.

What do you do when the FBI knocks on your door? ›

How to Protect Your Rights When the FBI Arrives
  1. Find Out Who Is at the Door. You have the right to confirm the identities of the officers by asking to see their credentials. ...
  2. Ask If They Have a Warrant. ...
  3. Do Not Allow the FBI Inside Without a Warrant. ...
  4. Do Not Speak to FBI Agents Without an Attorney Present. ...
  5. Stay Calm.

What crimes do the feds investigate? ›

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) enforces federal law, and investigates a variety of criminal activity including terrorism, cybercrime, white collar crimes, public corruption, civil rights violations, and other major crimes.


1. Report: Trump May Have Taken Classified Material From White House
2. Trump Had ‘Top Secret’ Documents At Mar-a-Lago, National Archives Says
(NBC News)
3. What Trump has said about handling classified documents
(Washington Post)
4. Trump allegedly had more than 700 pages of classified material l WNT
(ABC News)
5. Trump had more than 300 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, report says
(KENS 5: Your San Antonio News Source)
6. What We Know So Far About The National Archives' Effort To Retrieve Files From Trump
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