Chairwoman Maloney Introduces Legislation to Strengthen the Presidential Records Act

Nov 7, 2022
Press Release
The Presidential Records Certification Act Will Require the President, Vice President, and White House Staff to Certify Compliance with Recordkeeping Requirements

 Washington, D.C. (Nov. 7, 2022)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, introduced the Presidential Records Certification Act to require the President, Vice President, and covered White House staff to individually certify compliance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA) on an annual basis and upon leaving office. 

 

“Former President Trump threatened our national security through his flagrant violations of the Presidential Records Act,” said Chairwoman Maloney.  “Even as we continue to investigate the full extent of this troubling conduct and the damage it has caused, it is clear that our law needs reform to prevent future abuses.  The Presidential Records Certification Act is a commonsense step towards increasing accountability.  Presidential records belong to the people, and those entrusted with serving at the highest levels of government owe it to the American people to preserve, and not conceal, the record of our shared history.” 

 

The Presidential Records Certification Act would:

 

  • Require the President, Vice President, and covered White House staff to certify compliance with record-keeping requirements on an annual basis and upon leaving office. 

 

  • Require the Counsel to the President to collect and maintain these certifications. 

 

  • Set civil penalties for willful violations of the certification requirement.  These civil penalties are modeled after those for financial disclosure requirements pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act, which also apply to the President and Vice President.

 

The Oversight Committee has primary jurisdiction over the PRA.  This legislation is informed by the Committee’s ongoing investigation into former President Trump’s removal of presidential records and highly sensitive classified material from the White House as his term as President ended. 

 

On February 9, 2022, the Committee launched an investigation after reports that 15 boxes containing presidential records were removed by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. 

 

On February 24, 2022, the Committee sought additional information from NARA regarding the Trump Administration’s failure to preserve presidential records.

 

On August 13, 2022, the Oversight Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence sent a joint letter to the Director of National Intelligence seeking an immediate review and damage assessment stemming from former President Trump’s removal and retention of highly classified information at Mar-a-Lago, actions that potentially put our national security at grave risk. 

 

On September 13, 2022, the Committee requested that NARA conduct an urgent review of presidential records that remained missing and urged NARA to seek a certification from former President Trump that he had relinquished all presidential records, including classified materials. 

 

On September 30, 2022, NARA confirmed that presidential records from the Trump Administration remain unaccounted for, more than twenty months after former President Trump left office.

 

Click here for bill text. 

 

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117th Congress