The Mercury News Weekend

Past U.S. presidents, VPs asked to recheck for items


>> The National Archives has asked former U.S. presidents and vice presidents to recheck their personal records for any classified documents following the news that President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence had such documents in their possession.

The Archives sent a letter Thursday to representa­tives of former presidents and vice presidents extending back to Ronald Reagan to ensure compliance with the Presidenti­al Records Act, according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press. The act states that any records created or received by the president are the property of the U.S. government.

The Archives sent the letter to representa­tives of former Presidents Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, and former Vice Presidents Pence, Biden, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Dan Quayle.

Responsibi­lity to comply with the Presidenti­al Records Act “does not diminish after the end of an administra­tion,” the Archives wrote in the letter. “Therefore, we request that you conduct an assessment of any materials held outside of (the Archives) that relate to the administra­tion for which you serve as a designated representa­tive under the PRA, to determine whether bodies of materials previously assumed to be personal in nature might inadverten­tly contain Presidenti­al or Vice Presidenti­al records subject to the PRA, whether classified or unclassifi­ed.”

Spokespeop­le for Trump, Obama, Clinton, Pence, Cheney, Gore and Quayle did not immediatel­y respond to requests for comment.

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