22 Feb, 2024
1 min read

National Archives warned Trump attorneys in 2021 about missing White House documents, including correspondence with Kim Jong-Un

Washington – An official working for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) warned Donald Trump’s legal team in May 2021 that the Archives was missing numerous records from the Trump White House that urgently needed to be returned, according to a letter released by the Archives on Monday following a Freedom of Information Act request.

On May 6, 2021, NARA general counsel Gary Stern wrote to a group of Trump attorneys, including Patrick Philbin and Michael Purpura, informing them that “roughly two dozen boxes of original Presidential records” from Trump’s time in office that were once kept in the White House residence had yet to be returned to the Archives.

Other missing records included an “original correspondence” between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and a letter then-president Barack Obama left for Trump during the 2017 presidential transition – a White House tradition – according to the letter.

Trump told New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman in an interview for her upcoming book “Confidence Man” that he has “great things” from his time at the White House, including the Kim letters, according to audio posted on CNN. When Haberman asked specifically about the Kim letters, Trump said “no, I think that has the … I think that’s in the archives, but most of it is in the Archives. But the Kim Jong Un letters, we have incredible things. I have incredible letters with other leaders.”

US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet at the Korean Demilitarized Zone
US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019.

KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS


“We know things were very chaotic, as they always are in the course of a one-term transition,” Stern wrote, “But it is absolutely necessary that we obtain and account for

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Former Trump White House attorneys appear before grand jury probing Jan. 6

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WASHINGTON, Sept 2 (Reuters) – The two former top lawyers for the Trump White House appeared at federal court on Friday to testify before a grand jury probing events surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, after they were subpoenaed earlier this year.

Pat Cipollone, the former White House counsel, and his attorney Michael Purpura arrived at the federal courthouse shortly after 9:30 am on Friday, where they were greeted in the hallway by Thomas Windom, the lead prosecutor investigating a failed bid by former President Donald Trump’s allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election by submitting alternative slates of fake electors to the US National Archives.

They proceeded to the third floor, where the grand jury meets each Friday, according to a Reuters witness.

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Cipollone remained in the grand jury room for more than two hours before exiting the courthouse without answering questions.

Shortly after his departure, Reuters witnesses spotted former White House Deputy Counsel Pat Philbin arrive at the federal courthouse in Washington.

Philbin was inside the courthouse for approximately two hours, before exiting with Purpura without speaking to reporters.

The two men are the two most high-profile witnesses to date to appear before the grand jury. Others who have appeared to testify include former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, and Greg Jacob, who was Pence’s top counsel.

The grand jury, which convenes each Friday in the federal courthouse in Washington, is known to be specifically probing the fake electors plot.

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