What documents did Mark Meadows hand over after the FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home?
The former President’s White House chief of staff provided the National Archives with emails and text messages not previously disclosed.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has reportedly handed over new texts and emails to the National Archives in the aftermath of the search on former President Donald Trump last month.
Sources familiar with the matter told CNN that Meadows had not previously provided these messages when required to do so upon leaving office. National Archives requests that all members of the departing administration hand over a record of all electronic communications under the Presidential Records Act.
Back in August the FBI conducted an extraordinary search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and personal residence. The raid was certainly controversial but agents found countless classified White House documents and folders were still in Trump’s possession.
“It could be a coincidence, but within a week of the August 8 search on Mar-a-Lago, much more started coming in,” CNN’s source said of Meadows’ new-found willingness to submit the documents.
The late submission of documents will not land Meadows in any legal difficulties but it does create an unfavourable impression for the former chief of staff. He either mistakenly failed to hand over the communications or chose to retain them for some reason.
Trump told to cut ties with Meadows
Mark Meadows resigned from Congress in March 2020 to take up a role as Trump’s White House chief of staff. He played a key role in the administration’s response to the pandemic and showed himself to be very loyal to Trump.
After Trump lost the presidential election to Joe Biden, Meadows was a part of the attempt to overturn the election result and allow the 45th President to stay in power. Throughout 2021 Meadows remained linked to Trump and was eventually held in criminal contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the select committee set up to investigate the January 6 attack.
However in recent months Meadows has become estranged from Trump, with CNN reporting that the former President was counselled to cut contact with his former chief of staff.
“Their relationship is not the same as it once was” a source told CNN.
It was during the course of the January 6 investigation that National Archives first realised that Meadows had not handed over all communications, as required under the Presidential Records Act. The House select committee had received more than 2,300 text messages, many of which had not been provided to Archives.
Meadows has agreed to hand over said documents to National Archives, although his team maintain that he was under no legal obligation to do so.