Trump Gives Documents Improperly Taken From White House to Archives

During the administration, top White House aides — including Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner — were found to have used personal email accounts for government work.

More recently, in response to the House select committee investigation into the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, provided hundreds of pages of documents, some of which came from his personal cellphone. The committee said it had questions about why Mr. Meadows had used a personal cellphone, a Signal account and two personal Gmail accounts to conduct official business, and whether he had properly turned over all records from those accounts to the National Archives.

In late January, the National Archives said that among the documents that Mr. Trump sought to block from handing over to the committee were ones Mr. Trump had torn up.

“These were turned over to the National Archives at the end of the Trump administration, along with a number of torn-up records that had not been reconstructed by the White House,” according to a statement released by the National Archives at the time. “The Presidential Records Act requires that all records created by presidents be turned over to the National Archives at the end of their administrations.”

In a statement, David S. Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, did not criticize Mr. Trump or directly accuse him of violating the Presidential Records Act. But Mr. Ferriero strongly defended the National Archives’ mission and the need for presidents to follow federal record keeping laws.

“The Presidential Records Act is critical to our democracy, in which the government is held accountable by the people,” Mr. Ferriero said. “Whether through the creation of adequate and proper documentation, sound records management practices, the preservation of records or the timely transfer of them to the National Archives at the end of an administration, there should be no question as to need for both diligence and vigilance. Records matter.”

It is unclear what gifts Mr. Trump handed over to the National Archives. Under federal law, Mr. Trump could keep any gifts that were given to him under roughly $400. If he wanted to keep any gifts from foreigners over that threshold, he would have had to pay the federal government their appraised value.

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.