The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter to the White House this week expressing concerns about ensuring that the Presidential Records Act isn’t being violated with respect to President Trump’s use of Twitter.
In the letter, Congressmen Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said that federal law requires federal employees to preserve data concerning official government business including emails, text messages, or tweets. The Committee has become increasingly concerned about reports that federal employees are stepping up their use of non-government email addresses and secure messaging applications that go outside of official government channels of communication which could in turn lead to losing track of the records.
The Committee also sent a letter to 55 federal agencies about this matter and requested information from the agencies about their employees’ use of personal emails and unofficial communication methods to conduct official government business.
It turns out the White House is not exempt from the Committee’s investigation. Chaffetz and Cummings wrote in their letter:
President Trump uses at least two Twitter accounts… Many of the messages sent from these accounts are likely to be presidential records and therefore must be preserved. It has been reported, however, that President Trump has deleted tweets, and if those tweets are not archived it could pose a violation of the Presidential Records Act.
The Congressmen asked the White House to provide information about any senior officials that may be using non-government email addresses, policies and procedures governing the use of non-official methods of communication, and policies and procedures for preserving presidential records under the Presidential Records Act.
The letter requested a response by March 22.