Mark Meadows turns over new batch of texts, emails after FBI Mar-a-Lago raid

·2 min read

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has turned over a trove of his personal communications to the National Archives, CNN reports.

CNN spoke to anonymous sources who claim familiarity with he subject matter.

The report suggests Mr Meadows withheld some of the documentation that the National Archives asked him to turn over when he left the White House. The network's sources disclosed that the National Archives became aware earlier this year that it was missing some of Mr Meadows' communications.

The House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot had compelled the former Trump staffer to turn over emails and text messages from the months leading up to, through, and after the 2020 election and the events of 6 January, 2021.

When officials from the National Archives reviewed those communications, they realised Mr Meadows had retained some of the documents they had asked him to hand over, the sources claim.

They also claim that Mr Meadows turned over numerous documents following the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago last month, but noted the two incidents may not be directly connected.

While both Mr Meadows and his one-time boss, former President Donald Trump, have been asked by the National Archives to turn over documents, that's the extent of the similarities between the two situations.

Mr Trump is being investigated for hoarding and mishandling secret, top-secret, and other classified government documents. Department of Justice officials involved in the investigation are working to determine if Mr Trump violated a number of document retention laws, including parts of the Espionage Act.

The former president has maintained his innocence and insisted the FBI "raid" at Mar-a-Lago in early August was part of a politically motivated witch hunt, even going so far as to refer to it as election interference — despite the fact that he is not currently involved in a campaign — and to suggest the FBI planted evidence.

Mr Meadows is facing no such investigation. However, all of the texts and emails he sent while working as White House Chief of Staff are considered government property and public records. While those could be redacted for any number of reasons, theoretically any US citizen could request copies of those communications. The National Archives maintains those communications.

“This is a category of communication that was on a personal device, but you are supposed to hand it over,” the source told CNN. “[Mr Meadows] had an obligation to ensure that his PRA materials were preserved and turned over.”