National Archives is asking former presidents and VPs to check for classified documents – Biden to send 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, considering European trip to mark 1-year anniversary of Ukraine war
In the wake of discoveries of classified documents from the time of their tenures as vice presidents at the home and office of Joe Biden, where up to 30 documents have been discovered, as well as at the home of Mike Pence, where about a dozen files were found, the National Archives has taken a proactive step.
The National Archives is now formally asking all former presidents and vice presidents to perform another check of their personal records to determine whether they have any classified documents or other presidential records in their possession, CNN reported.
The request came in a letter from the National Archives sent on Thursday to the representatives of former presidents and vice presidents from the last six presidential administrations covered by the Presidential Records Act (PRA) – which goes all the way back to former President Ronald Reagan to the present day.
“The responsibility to comply with the PRA does not diminish after the end of an administration,” the National Archives letter stated. “While much of the attention of these instances has focused on the classified information, the PRA requires that all Presidential records of every Administration from Reagan onward must be transferred to NARA, regardless of classification status.”
The offices of former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama say that, at the end of their presidencies, they turned over all classified materials to the national archives, The Hill reported.
The chief of staff to former President George W. Bush also said an intensive process was conducted of all presidential records – classified and unclassified – and were turned over to the National Archives before he left the White House.
A CNN/SSRS poll taken this week found that more than 8 in 10 Americans approve the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the classified documents that were found at Biden’s Delaware residence, as well as a Washington office used when he served as vice president, CNN reported.
In a major reversal of previous policy, President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that the United States will send a battalion of 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine to aid in support of its battle against Russia, Politico reported. The Abrams tank is the US Army’s premier battle tank. Biden approved the tanks as part of a $400 million procurement through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a fund established by Congress for supporting Ukraine.
In a related move, Germany also reversed its decision on supplying tanks to Kyiv, announcing it will send 14 of its powerful Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, CNN reported.
President Biden is considering taking a trip to Europe next month centered around the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, two senior administration officials told CNN. However, considering the ongoing security concerns, it is unlikely that Biden will travel to Ukraine, but a one-stop in key NATO ally Poland is under consideration.