Former U.S. President, Reagan-era Vice President Calls for Review of Classified Documents – National

The National Archives has asked former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to double-check their personal records for classified documents following news of President Joe. Biden Former Vice President Mike Pence possessed such documents.

The Archives sent a letter Thursday to representatives of the former president and vice president. Ronald Reagan To ensure compliance with the Presidential Records Act, according to a copy obtained by the Associated Press. The law states that all records made or received by the President are the property of the U.S. government and will be managed by the Archives at the end of the administration.

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The archives include former presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, former presidents Ronald Reagan, Pence, Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, Dan I sent a letter to a representative of former Vice President Quayle.

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Responsibility to comply with the Presidential Records Act “does not diminish after the end of the administration,” the Archives wrote in the letter. “Accordingly, we have conducted an evaluation of materials held outside of (archives) relevant to the administration for which you are serving as a designated representative under the PRA, and have to determine whether it is the body of material that was supposed to be personal, and whether confidential or unclassified, the record of the President or Vice President subject to the PRA is in error. may be included in

Spokespeople for Trump, Obama, former President Clinton, former Vice President Pence, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Freddie Ford, former President George W. Bush’s chief of staff, said in a statement to the Archives that Bush’s office did not consider the search necessary. We understand its purpose and are sure that we do not have such materials at our disposal. “

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Biden’s attorneys came across classified documents from the Biden vice presidential era in a locked cabinet while cleaning out Biden’s disused office in November. Subsequent searches uncovered even more documents. Former Vice President Pence also discovered and submitted the documents this week.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the search by Biden’s lawyers and the FBI appears to have satisfied the Archives’ request.

There were no comments in the archive.

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The handling of classified documents has been a problem for decades, from presidents to cabinet members and staff of multiple administrations all the way back to Jimmy Carter. But the issue has become more important since former President Donald Trump knowingly kept classified material in his Florida mansion and his FBI seized thousands of pages of records in an unprecedented manner last year. .

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Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to investigate the handling of Trump and Biden documents.

Officials at all levels of government find themselves in possession of classified material and turn it over to authorities at least several times a year, said another person, who asked not to be identified because it is confidential. bottom. The nature of confidential documents.

While current and former officials involved in handling classified information have clear policies about how such information is reviewed and stored, those policies are sidelined at the highest level. It says that it may be Teams of national security officials, secretaries, and military aides share the responsibility of keeping the highest-level executives informed, who themselves bend the rules for convenience, expediency, or simple carelessness. There is a possibility.

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Much attention has been directed to classified information, but the Presidential Records Act actually requires that all records, regardless of classification, must be transferred to the public archives since the Reagan administration.

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Keeping classified documents in unauthorized locations is a violation of federal law, but it is a crime only if done intentionally.

In an unrelated press conference on Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray could not discuss specific ongoing investigations, but said, “We have conducted a number of inappropriate investigations over the years. Unfortunately, this is normal business for the Counterintelligence Department and the Counterintelligence Program.”

He said people need to be aware of the laws and regulations governing the handling of classified information.

© 2023 The Associated Press Former U.S. President, Reagan-era Vice President Calls for Review of Classified Documents – National

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