WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper called for an in-person briefing on how White House officials will ensure full government accountability and transparency. The request to White House Counsel Don McGahn follows reports of President Trump deleting tweets, White House top staffers using applications on their phones that automatically delete messages, and the use of personal accounts for official business. These and other actions occurring in the administration are in potential violation of the Presidential Records Act.
“It’s unacceptable that top White House officials are seemingly putting aside their responsibility to make their official business open to the public,” said McCaskill, former Missouri State Auditor and ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “We need an open and accountable federal government. I look forward to hearing from the White House about the plans they’ll put in place to ensure the transparency required by law.”
“Considering then-candidate Trump’s considerable focus on the protection and preservation of federal records while on the campaign trail, I expect President Trump’s White House staff to enthusiastically comply with our federal transparency laws that are so vitally important,” said Carper. “The American people, both now and in future generations to come, have a fundamental right—enshrined in the Presidential Records Act—to have access to the official business of this administration. We must ensure that administration officials are not acting in violation of federal record-keeping laws and leaving Americans in the dark. I look forward to Mr. McGahn shedding a much-needed light on these transparency issues and addressing our growing concerns.”
The letter outlines key concerns with the ways White House officials are communicating and the ability to archive public communications from President Trump and others in his administration. “Since January 20, 2017, the Trump White House has engaged in practices that raise serious questions about this Administration’s compliance with government transparency laws, including the [Presidential Records Act]…. The American people deserve to have a transparent and accountable federal government,” writes McCaskill and Carper.
A copy of McCaskill and Carper’s request to White House Counsel Don McGahn is available HERE.