Oversight Committee continues probe into Trump records

Rep. Carolyn Maloney chairs an October 2021 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney chairs an October 2021 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Bill Clark/Getty Images

A House committee is asking for more information about records from the Trump administration. One area of focus is missing social media records.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee says it's expanding its investigation into the state of records from the Trump administration. 

Committee chairwoman, Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in early February asked the National Records and Archives Administration for information after a slew of media reports about the former president flouting laws governing presidential records administration by destroying records and taking some to his Mar-a-Lago resort.

Since then, NARA head David Ferriero has told the committee that those Mar-a-Lago boxes included classified information; that certain social media records from the Trump administration are still missing; and that NARA has received records torn up by the previous president. 

Now, Maloney is requesting more information from the Archives. 

"I am deeply concerned that former President Trump may have violated the law through his intentional efforts to remove and destroy records that belong to the American people," she wrote in a Feb. 24 letter. 

"This Committee plans to get to the bottom of what happened and assess whether further action is needed to prevent the destruction of additional presidential records and recover those records that are still missing," she continued. 

Maloney is asking for more information on the recovered Mar-a-Lago records, destroyed records and communication between the White House and NARA. 

She also wants documents from the administration that contain information relating to things like using personal messaging accounts for business, the destruction of documents, and social media records.

The committee recently got more information from NARA head David Ferriero about the state of records collection for the Trump administration. 

Missing is a full picture of social media from the Trump administration, with concerns about deleted posts and direct messages specifically. 

The administration disconnected the Twitter account @realDonaldTrump from ArchiveSocial, a vendor that automates social media records collection, in April 2020. That account and the @POTUS account also weren't enrolled until 2018.

Besides Twitter, there are also gaps with records from Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat accounts. 

NARA also flagged that the previous administration didn't collect direct messages and couldn't clarify if direct messaging was used on any of the platforms.

Another gap is messaging accounts.

"Some White House staff conducted official business using non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts," Ferriero's letter states. "NARA has already obtained or is in the process of obtaining some of those records."

As for the records in the boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago and now being inventoried by NARA, some have been identified as having classified information, according to Ferriero, who continued on to write that because of that, NARA has been in communication with the Department of Justice. 

The NARA head also recently told the committee that NARA responded to media reports in 2018 of the former president tearing up records by writing to the deputy counsel asking for information. NARA was informed that the issue would be handled. 

"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," Ferriero's letter to the committee reads.

Ferriero wrote that NARA has asked Trump representatives to keep looking for records that haven't been given to the archives yet.

The former president denies accusations about wrongdoing around records laws, saying in a recent press release that the archives "were given, upon request, Presidential Records in an ordinary and routine process to ensure the preservation of my legacy and in accordance with the Presidential Records Act," continuing on to call the issue "fake news" and that "Democrats are in search of their next Scam."