Press Statement Clarifying NARA’s Role in the Trump Presidential Transition
Media Alert · Thursday, April 27, 2023
The April 24, 2023, letter from Timothy Parlatore, John Rowley, James Trusty, and Lindsey Halligan to House Permanent Selection Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner incorrectly states that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) “declined to provide archival assistance to President Trump’s transition team.” In a February 10, 2023, letter to House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (which is available online), NARA General Counsel Gary M. Stern clarified a response that he had given during his January 31, 2023, interview with the Committee:
I stated at the interview that it was my recollection that NARA had not provided such assistance. Following the interview, I checked with my colleagues, and I was informed that, in fact, NARA did send staff members to the White House in the final weeks of the Trump Administration to assist with the move of the physical records (including artifacts), in coordination with the DOD team that NARA employed to transport the records from the White House complex to the National Archives. It is my understanding that this support was logistical in nature and did not involve providing records management guidance. In addition, NARA staff provided on-site transition support to the National Security Council. (The transfer of the electronic records was done by a different process that did not necessitate NARA staff to be onsite.)
Mr. Stern’s letter also described how this assistance was similar to the assistance that NARA had provided to the White House during the three previous Presidential transitions.
The packing of boxes and transfer of records from the White House to NARA at the end of each Administration is always managed and controlled by White House and NSC officials. While NARA routinely provides assistance, the NARA staff work under the direction of the White House.
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This page was last reviewed on April 27, 2023.
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