Some documents from the Trump White House that the National Archives handed over to the Jan. 6 committee were torn apart and then taped back together, according to the Washington Post.
In a statement to the Post on Monday, the National Archives confirmed that records turned over from the Trump White House “included paper records that had been torn up by former President Trump.” According to the Post, the statement was in response to a question about whether some records related to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrections were ripped up and taped back together.
The Post’s report confirms Trump’s unusual — and potentially unlawful — habit of ripping presidential records into shreds and throwing them on the floor. The former president’s habit reportedly caused a great deal of trouble for records management analysts who would use Scotch tape to piece together fragments of paper that were sometimes as as small as confetti, according to a Politico report in 2018.
In the latter stages of his presidency, the former president seemed to continue defying guidelines under the Presidential Records Act. The act requires the preservation of memos, letters, notes, emails, faxes and other written communications related to a president’s official duties.
“White House records management officials during the Trump Administration recovered and taped together some of the torn-up records. These were turned over to the National Archives at the end of the Trump Administration, along with a number of torn-up records that had not been reconstructed by the White House,” the National Archives said in a statement shared with the Post. “The Presidential Records Act requires that all records created by presidents be turned over to the National Archives at the end of their administrations.”
According to the Post, it’s unclear what documents from the Trump White House that were handed over to the Jan. 6 committee were damaged. Trump, however, has sought to assert privilege over presidential diaries, schedules, appointment information, handwritten notes surrounding the events of Jan. 6 from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, speeches, remarks, and more.
As of last month, the National Archives sent more than 700 pages of documents to the committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, some of which were torn up and reconstructed, according to the Post.