Trump administration members are said to still be keeping documents

Trump administration members are said to still be keeping documents requested by the National Archives

Some members of Donald Trump’s administration have still not returned documents legally owned by the state, the US National Archives told Congress in a letter released by US media.

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“While there is no easy way to establish absolute traceability, we know we don’t have everything we should have,” Acting Chief Archivist Debra Steidel Wall wrote in a letter to Democrat-elect Carolyn Maloney at the head of a powerful parliamentary commission of inquiry.

Friday’s letter does not identify the White House members involved, but alleges that some of them used private e-mail accounts for official business without forwarding those messages to the National Archives, as required by US law.

Ms Wall says in the letter that the National Archives – which is responsible for storing official government records – will consult with the Department of Justice about possible legal action “to recover unlawfully removed records”.

The archivist’s letter was sent in response to a request from Ms Maloney to inquire about the latest developments in the case of the entire boxes of documents Donald Trump took when he left the White House.

A 1978 law requires every American president to submit all of their emails, letters, and other working documents to the National Archives.

In January, Donald Trump donated fifteen boxes to the National Archives. After their investigation, federal police estimated that he was likely detaining others at Mar-a-Lago, his luxurious Florida residence. FBI agents went there for the first time in June and concluded that they had not been given all the documents.

On August 8, they conducted a spectacular search in Mar-a-Lago on warrants for “withholding classified documents” and “obstructing a federal investigation,” and seized about 30 other boxes.

Donald Trump says he is being politically “persecuted” and assures the thousands of documents seized are personal or declassified.