Aides Told National Archives Trump Only Had News Clippings

Former White House lawyer said his information came from Mark Meadows
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2022 5:30 PM CDT
Archives Was Assured Trump Had Nothing but News Clippings
People walk up the steps of the National Archives in Washington during the partial government shutdown in December 2018.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Former President Donald Trump's team assured National Archives officials a year ago that there were no classified or even sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago—just a dozen boxes of news clippings. The claim was made by a former White House lawyer, Pat Philbin, in a phone call with Archives lawyer Gary Stern, the Washington Post reports. Philbin said on the call that the information came from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who also had said no government documents had been destroyed.

Stern asked for the call because of concerns that Trump still had more than two dozen boxes of documents and that digital records may not have been properly retained, people familiar with the situation told the Post. In the year since that conversation, officials from the Archives and Justice Department have collected 42 boxes of records from Trump's Florida club. Archives officials still aren't certain they have all the documents from Trump, the chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said this week. Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney wants the Archives to ask Trump for a personal certification that he's turned everything over, per USA Today. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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