The National Archives of the United States have asked the former presidents and vice presidents of the country to review their personal belongings to see if they have secret documents, after it was revealed that the president Joe Biden and the former vice president Mike Pence They had those kinds of materials.
The Archives sent a letter Thursday to representatives of former presidents and vice presidents up 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 created or received by the president are the property of the government and they will be kept by the Archives at the end of each administration.
The Archives is sending the letter 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 carry out an evaluation of all government-related materials outside (the Archives) and for which you are a designated representative under the LDP, to determine if the contents of the materials that were assumed to be previously of a personal nature could inadvertently contain presidential or vice-presidential documents subject to the LDP, whether classified or declassified.”
Spokesmen for former Presidents Trump, Obama and Clinton, and former Vice Presidents Pence, Cheney, Gore and Quayle did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Freddy Ford, White House chief of staff during the George W. Bush presidency, responded to the Files: “Thank you for your tip. We understand the purpose and remain convinced that there are no such materials in our possession.”
Biden’s lawyers found in November classified documents from his time as vice president in a locked cabinet when they kept things from an office that the president no longer uses. Since then, searches by the FBI and by Biden’s lawyers have turned up more documents. Former Vice President Pence also discovered documents this week and turned them over after saying he believed he did not have any.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but searches by Biden’s lawyers and the FBI appear to have complied with the Files’ request.
The National Archives had no comment.