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Senators Express Concerns Over Trump Admin. Records Compliance

Gary Price at InfoDocket reports that Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper from the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs sent a letter to David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, "regarding concerns over compliance by President Donald Trump’s Administration with the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act."

The letter re-expresses concerns the Senators had already sent about reports that four senior Administration officials are maintaining active email accounts on a private email system, the President’s use of an unsecured smartphone, and White House officials’ use of social media platforms, such as Twitter, that may not comply with federal recordkeeping requirements.

The letter raises new concerns about the use by White House staff, including staff from the National Security Council and the Office of the Press Secretary, of the smartphone app known as Confide, which allows individuals to communicate digitally through messages that self-destruct, for work-related communications. The Senators say, "While our goal is not to encourage inappropriate leaks of presidential or federal records, prevention of any such leaks is not a recognized exception to federal recordkeeping requirements, nor does it outweigh statutory recordkeeping requirements."

The Senators ask the Archivist to respond to several questions about these reported activities including asking if NARA is aware of any instructions to Executive Office staff to avoid using email as a method of work-related communication.


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