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Archives weighs asking past presidents, VPs to look for classified items

Washington Post: “The National Archives is weighing whether to ask living former presidents and vice presidents to review their personal records to verify that no classified materials are inadvertently outstanding, according to two people familiar with the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail private conversations. The deliberation comes after the discovery and return of a limited number of records bearing classified markings in recent weeks at President Biden’s home and a think tank bearing his name, as well as at the home of former vice president Mike Pence. More than 100 classified documents also were found by the FBI last year when they searched former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate [note – no searches were done at Trump’s other residences – why?], capping a nearly year-long quest to retrieve documents from the former president. The search came after more than 200 classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago had been turned over to the Archives and the Justice Department…

The recent discoveries underscore the limitations of the Presidential Records Act, which governs how documents of former presidents and vice presidents are handled. Under the PRA, the Archives takes ownership of millions of presidential papers from the outgoing president as soon as a new president is sworn in, while items deemed personal go home with the former president. Classified materials are all considered government property but compliance can sometimes be an issue due to the massive volume of materials…”

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