“Under the Presidential Records Act, all Trump White House visitor logs are under the control and legal custody of the National Archives and Records Administration, and cannot be unilaterally released by the Biden White House,” a White House spokesperson said on Wednesday, following inquiries from reporters during a press briefing the day before.
The Presidential Records Act, which requires a sitting president to preserve and ultimately make public all records relating to the performance of their official duties, was passed 42 years ago in response to President Richard Nixon’s attempts to hide the White House tapes that led to his downfall. The law makes presidential records available to the public via the Freedom of Information Act beginning five years after the end of an administration.
The National Archives defines presidential records as any documentary materials “created or received” by the president, their immediate staff or anyone in the Executive Office of the President “whose function is to advise or assist the President” in the course of carrying out official duties.
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