(The Hill) – Newly revealed emails show that former White House counsel Pat Cipollone agreed that materials the National Archives requested be returned by President Trump should be given to the agency.
Cipollone, who also severed under the Trump administration as a designated representative to the Archives, reportedly told National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) chief counsel Gary Stern that the documents needed to be returned, The Washington Post reported.
“It is also our understanding that roughly two dozen boxes of original presidential records were kept in the Residence of the White House over the course of President Trump’s last year in office and have not been transferred to NARA, despite a determination by Pat Cipollone in the final days of the administration that they need to be,” Stern wrote in an email to Trump’s lawyers in May 2021, according to the Post.
According to the report, NARA officials grew concerned about Trump and his team keeping dozens of boxes of official documents and repeatedly declining requests to return those documents.
Stern also noted in his emails to Trump’s legal counsel that two classified documents, which were letters from North Korea President Kim Jong Un and former President Obama, were missing from their archival list.
“We know things are very chaotic, as they always are in the course of a one-term transition,” Stern wrote in the email. “ … But it is absolutely necessary that we obtain and account for all presidential records.”
Stern also wrote in the emails that he consulted with other attorneys in Trump’s legal counsel to return the requested documents.
The report comes after the FBI conducted a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month, as authorities searched for classified documents Trump brought to his Florida residence after the end of his term at the White House.
Trump returned up to 15 boxes of classified documents to the NARA earlier this year, as NARA officials continued to urge Trump’s team to look for more documents at his Florida residence; referring the matter to the Department of Justice as well, the Post noted.