WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Archives has requested former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to recheck their private data for any classified documents following the information that President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence had such paperwork of their possession, two individuals accustomed to the matter mentioned Thursday.
The Archives despatched a letter Thursday to representatives of former presidents and vice presidents extending again to Ronald Reagan to guarantee compliance with the Presidential Records Act. The act states that any data created or obtained by the president are the property of the U.S. authorities and can be managed by the archives on the finish of the administration, in accordance to the 2 individuals, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk about investigations.
The Archives despatched the letter to representatives of former Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, and former Vice Presidents Pence, Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle.
The letter was first reported by CNN.
Spokespeople for former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and former vice presidents Mike Pence, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Biden’s attorneys got here throughout classified paperwork from his time as vice chairman in a locked cupboard as they had been packing up an workplace he now not makes use of in November. Since then, subsequent searches by the FBI and Biden’s attorneys have turned up extra paperwork. Pence, too, this week, discovered documents and turned them in after saying beforehand he didn’t consider he had any.
The White House didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark however the searches by Biden’s attorneys and the FBI seem to fulfill the Archives’ request.
Handling of classified paperwork has been an issue on and off for many years, from presidents to Cabinet members and employees throughout a number of administrations stretching way back to Jimmy Carter. But the problem has taken on better significance since former President Donald Trump willfully retained classified materials at his Florida property, prompting the unprecedented FBI seizure of hundreds of pages of data final 12 months.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a particular counsel to examine Trump’s dealing with of the paperwork, and likewise Biden’s.
Speaking Thursday at an unrelated information convention, FBI Director Christopher Wray mentioned that although he couldn’t focus on any particular ongoing investigation, “We have had for fairly a variety of years any variety of mishandling investigations. That is sadly a daily a part of our counterintelligence division’s and counterintelligence program’s work.”
He mentioned there was a necessity for individuals to take heed to legal guidelines and guidelines governing the dealing with of classified data. “Those guidelines,” he mentioned, “are there for a purpose.”