Memo to former US presidents and vice presidents: Check your files
Washington: The US National Archives has asked former presidents and vice presidents to recheck their personal records for any classified documents following the news that President Joe Biden, and former vice president Mike Pence had such documents in their possession, two people familiar with the matter said.
The Archives has sent a letter to representatives of former leaders extending back to Ronald Reagan to ensure compliance with the Presidential Records Act, according to the two people who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak about investigations. The act states that any records created or received by the president are the property of the US government and will be managed by the archives at the end of the administration.
The Archives sent the letter to representatives for Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan, and former vice presidents Pence, Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle, they said.
The letter was sent on Thursday and first reported by CNN.
Spokespeople for Trump, Obama, George W. Bush and Clinton, and Pence, Cheney, Al Gore and Quayle did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Biden’s lawyers came across classified documents from his time as vice president as they were packing up an office he no longer uses in November. The documents were found in a locked cabinet. Since then, subsequent searches by the FBI and Biden’s lawyers have turned up more documents. Pence, too, this week, discovered documents and turned them in after saying he did not believe he had any.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment but the searches by Biden’s lawyer’s and the FBI appear to fulfil the Archives’ request.
The Archives had no comment.