Top leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR) want to know if President Donald Trump is deleting tweets that are presidential records, which would violate the Presidential Records Act (PRA).
Chairman Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Ranking Minority Member Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, asked White House Counsel Donald McGahn in a letter Thursday for details on the archiving of Trump’s tweets and other White House records. The letter comes on the heels of news reports that Trump deleted some tweets.
“Many of the messages sent from [President Trump’s twitter] accounts are likely to be presidential records and therefore must be preserved,” the letter said. “It has been reported, however, that President Trump has deleted tweets, and if those tweets were not archived it could pose a violation of the Presidential Records Act.”
Trump on March 3, for instance, tweeted his demands for a federal investigation into New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s interactions with Russians, but misspelled “hereby” twice, and deleted those two tweets, before posting a third tweet with the correct spelling. The PRA defines which records qualify as presidential as they have administrative, historical, informational or evidentiary value.
The congressmen also wrote 55 federal agencies Thursday, demanding details on how they are following the Federal Records Act (FRA). Recent news reports found federal employees are using encrypted messaging apps to thwart Trump. (RELATED: Did The EPA Intentionally Delete Texts?)
Chaffetz and Cummings asked for the following records from the White House:
- The names of any White House staff members who have used alias email accounts
- All White House policies related to retention of electronic communications
- A detailed account of any PRA training at the White House
- A detailed account of the system the White House is using to archive emails
They also asked for the following records from 55 agencies:
- Names of any senior agency officials who have used an alias email account
- All agency policies related to the use of non-official messaging accounts
- All policies currently in place to ensure the preservation of all created federal records
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