National Archives: Please, Leave Us Out Of Your Political Hackery

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Politics

Whatever the fallout may be for former President Donald Trump as a result of having been caught hoarding highly classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, the National Archives and Records Administration wants to be left out of it entirely.In a staffwide memo last week, the acting archivist of the United States, Debra Steidel Wall, praised the agency’s staff for their dedication in what’s become a challenging work environment.AdvertisementInvective from Trump has led to threats against the independent federal agency ― as well as praise ― prompting Steidel Wall to remind colleagues their sole mission is ensuring government records are properly protected.“NARA has received messages from the public accusing us of corruption and conspiring against the former President, or congratulating NARA for ‘bringing him down.’ Neither is accurate or welcome,” Steidel Wall wrote in the message.Reflecting on her own three decades at the agency, she then praised NARA’s “uniquely and fiercely non-political” posture, which she credited for its reputation as an “honest broker.”NEW: Staffwide memo sent to NARA personnel on August 24 by acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall re: Trump presidential records, Corcoran’s letter and attacks on NARA staff and it’s work— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) August 29, 2022

Advertisement“Our fundamental interest is always in ensuring that government records are properly managed, preserved, and protected to ensure access to them for the life of the Republic,” Steidel Wall continued. “That is our mission, and what motivates us as we seek to uphold the public trust. I thank all of you for your dedication to that mission and your professionalism and integrity in carrying it out in a non-political and diligent manner.”The archivist also used the letter to clarify the role NARA played in pursuing the records at Mar-a-Lago, an inquiry that ultimately led to the FBI search of the Florida resort earlier this month.Steidel Wall distanced the agency from the legal inquiry and noted that, typically, NARA would not publicly disclose “non-routine correspondence with former Presidents.” But, she said, Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran publicly shared that correspondence last week, thus prompting her reply.“Since our initial referral, the [Department of Justice] has been exclusively responsible for all aspects of its investigation,” she said, “and NARA has not been involved in any searches that it has conducted.”Steidel Wall concluded the letter with an appeal to the agency’s quiet resolve.“We will continue to do our work,” she said, “without favor or fear, in the service of our democracy.”AdvertisementRelated… …

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