WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The United States National Archives has asked the country’s former presidents and vice presidents to search their personal belongings in an effort to determine if President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence have classified documents. No. type of material.
The archives sent a letter Thursday to representatives of former presidents and vice presidents dating back to the Ronald Reagan era to ensure compliance with the Presidential Documents Act, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press. The law establishes that all documents made or received by the President are the property of the government and shall be placed in the archives at the end of each administration.
The archives sent letters to representatives of former Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan, and former Vice Presidents Pence, Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle.
“The responsibility to comply with the Presidential Documents Act” does not diminish at the end of an administration, the archives wrote in the letter. “Therefore, we request that you evaluate all materials outside of the (archives) belonging to the government and of which you are a designated representative under the LDP, to determine whether the material previously considered to be of a personal nature May inadvertently include documents of the President or Vice President, whether classified or unclassified, under LDP.
Spokespeople for former Presidents Trump, Obama and Clinton, and former Vice Presidents Pence, Cheney, Gore and Quayle did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Freddie Ford, White House chief of staff during the presidency of George W. Bush, responded to the files: “Thank you for your tip. We understand the motive and remain assured that we do not have any such material.”
Biden’s lawyers found classified documents from his time as vice president in a locked cabinet in November storing things from an office the president no longer uses. Since then, searches by the FBI and Biden’s attorneys have turned up more documents. Former Vice President Pence also discovered the documents this week and turned them over, saying he believes he does not have any.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but searches by Biden’s lawyers and the FBI complied with the request for the files.
The National Archives had no comment.
Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.