The National Archives has officially requested that former U.S. presidents and vice presidents go through their personal records so as to ensure that there are no classified documents in their possession. This comes after both President Joe Biden and former president Mike Pence had classified documents in their respective homes unknowingly.
In a letter sent on Thursday to representatives of all living former presidents and vice Presidents, the Archives sent out a request for their private files to be checked. This move will help ensure that everyone has complied with the Presidential Records Act. According to the act, any records received or created by the president were the property of the U.S. government and should have been handed over to the Archives when the administration ended.
The letter was sent to representatives of former Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, and former Vice Presidents Pence, Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore, and Dan Quayle.
In the letter, the Archives made it clear that even though they were out of office, the Presidential Records Act does still require their compliance.
Freddy Ford, chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, responded to the letter by writing that while they understood the need for compliance there were no such records or materials in their hands.
In November, Biden’s lawyers located classified documents in a locked cabinet in his private office in Washington, D.C., following that discovery additional batches of classified documents were also found in Biden’s Delaware home. In the past couple of weeks, Former Vice President Pence also noted that some classified documents had been found in his home, despite previously holding on to the belief that he did not have any classified documents.