National Archives Reminds White House of Record Keeping

Oct 19, 2017

The National Archives reissued its warning to the White House that it “needs to follow document preservation laws.” All presidential records must be preserved according to the law. “Failure to abide by these requirements may lead to administrative penalties. The willful destruction or concealment of federal records is a federal crime.” Officials with the National Archives are concerned that there was lax enforcement of the policy early on in the Trump administration. There are reports that many officials in the White House “used personal devices and email accounts for work. . . “ Jared Kushner was reported to have used a private email account to conduct government work. A White House investigation into private email use was launched later in the week. Other reports indicate that White House officials used “encrypted smartphone apps to communicate, such as Confide and Signal, which are designed to delete data.” The head of the National Archives outlined a series of guidelines for the administration and pointed out that “smartphone apps are expressly prohibited for conducting official business” because they can be deleted. President Trump’s tweets have to be preserved, even those that he deletes.