Historians are suing to force the Trump administration to keep records

Historians and watchdog groups have sued the Trump administration again for its alleged failure to preserve White House records.

In a complaint filed on Tuesday, the groups said, “With the end of President Trump’s term soon approaching, a violation of the White House’s record-keeping requirements could deprive historians and the public of records documenting an important part of our nation’s history.” (Local time) in federal court in Washington Capital.

Historians and watchdog groups have sued the Trump administration again for its alleged failure to preserve White House records.

Evan Fuchi / AFP

Historians and watchdog groups have sued the Trump administration again for its alleged failure to preserve White House records.

The Presidential Records Act, passed in the wake of the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, identifies all White House records as public and It requires preservation.

Historians said in their complaint: “The president’s actions since losing the elections – which were not limited by truth and facts – have increased fears that he will destroy records of” irregularities and potential crimes. “

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Three of the groups that filed the complaint – the National Security Archive, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and the Association of Historians of American Foreign Relations – filed a similar suit in 2019 that was brought up this year. One group that was not part of the first case is the American Historical Society.

“The Trump administration is acting in accordance with legal requirements,” White House spokesman Judd Deer said.

The new complaint is aimed specifically at the use of WhatsApp and private email accounts The President’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. WhatsApp sends encrypted text messages that can only be viewed by the sender or recipient.

Kushner claims to take screenshots of his WhatsApp messages, which reportedly include Saudi recipients, Mohammed bin Salman and Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, and sends them to his White House messaging account, where they are saved.

But historians say this is not enough. The screenshot does not preserve a “complete copy of the original message” because it does not include the metadata, attachments, and other digital artifacts “required for the message authentication,” according to the lawsuit.

In dismissing the earlier lawsuit, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Congress will have to make changes to the Presidential Records Act before federal courts can enforce compliance.

The new case is National Security Archive v. Trump, US District Court, District of Columbia.

Bloomberg News

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