Following reports that President Trump has a habit of ripping up presidential documents including memos, letters, and notes, and that the White House fired the staffers who had been tasked with taping them back together, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and American Oversight called on the Trump Administration to fully comply with the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and preserve all presidential records.
According to recent reports, Trump regularly rips up papers once he is done with them, regardless of their status as presidential records. After realizing that the documents had to be preserved as presidential records, White House aides started collecting the fragments of paper from both the Oval Office and the personal residence to be taped together. According to Politico, the very staffers who were charged with restoring the documents were recently fired from the White House. In a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn , CREW and American Oversight call the Trump Administration’s current practices a significant departure from accepted archival preservation that creates the possibility of law violations.
The PRA was enacted to establish public ownership of presidential and vice presidential records, to impose record keeping requirements on the president and vice president, and to authorize the National Archives and Records Administration (“NARA”) to preserve and make publicly available presidential records.
The letter from American Oversight and CREW is below: