Ranking Member Raskin’s Statement on Indictment of Former President Trump for Mishandling Classified Documents
Washington, D.C. (June 8, 2023)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, issued the following statement after former President Trump announced that a federal grand jury indicted him for mishandling classified documents. The indictment follows an independent investigation by Special Counsel Jack Smith of the former President’s handling of presidential and classified records:
“Today’s federal grand jury indictment tells us that former President Donald Trump put our national security in grave danger as he pursued yet another lawless personal agenda by pilfering and hoarding government documents. After reviewing a trove of factual evidence, the federal grand jury found probable cause to believe that former President Trump knowingly retained hundreds of presidential and classified records, deliberately defied subpoenas, obstructed law enforcement, and lied about his continuing retention of records.
“Instead of trying to divide the country and undercut our legal system, Congressional Republicans should respect the outcome of the Special Counsel’s comprehensive investigation and the decisions of the citizens serving on the grand jury. Dangerous rhetoric about a ‘two-tiered system of justice’—discriminating against the rich no less—in order to prop up the twice-impeached former President not only undermines the Department of Justice but betrays the essential principle of justice that no one is above the commands of law, not even a former President or a self-proclaimed billionaire.
“As Committee Democrats, we are determined to understand the full sweep of Trump’s unlawful possession of hundreds of government documents and his offenses against our government and people. We must ensure that federal officials preserve our country’s records in a way that is consistent with law and that safeguards our national interests.”
As the Committee with legislative jurisdiction over the Presidential Records Act (PRA), Oversight Committee Democrats launched an investigation into former President Trump’s mishandling of presidential and classified records during the 116th Congress.
On February 9, 2022, Committee Democrats launched an investigation after reports that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recovered 15 boxes of presidential records from former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
On February 24, 2022, Committee Democrats sought additional information from NARA regarding former President Trump’s removal of classified and presidential records from the White House.
On August 13, 2022, the Oversight Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Democrats sent a 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, Committee Democrats requested that NARA conduct an urgent review to determine whether classified and presidential records remained outside of the government’s custody and urged NARA to seek certification from former President Trump that he had relinquished all records.
On September 30, 2022, NARA confirmed that records from the Trump Administration remained unaccounted for, more than twenty months after former President Trump left office.
On November 7, 2022, Committee Democrats introduced the Presidential Records Certification Act to require the President, Vice President, and covered White House staff to individually certify compliance with the PRA on an annual basis and upon leaving their position.
On December 13, 2022, Committee Democrats sent a letter to Ms. Debra Steidel Wall, Acting Archivist of NARA, in light of reports that additional classified records were recovered from former President Trump’s storage facility in Florida during a recent search and turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On January 31, 2023, Ranking Member Raskin sent a letter to Kimberly A. Cheatle, Director of the United States Secret Service, requesting information on who had access to former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club since leaving office. Chairman Comer failed to respond to Ranking Member Raskin’s request to join him on the letter.