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Every administration since Reagan mishandled classified records, officials testify to House committee

FIRST ON FOX: Every administration since President Reagan has mishandled classified materials, officials from the National Archives and Records Administration testified to the House Intelligence Committee last month.

The committee voted Wednesday to release an unclassified transcript, first obtained by Fox News Digital, of testimony from NARA officials after they appeared before the panel for a transcribed interview in April.

The committee is investigating former President Trump, President Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence for their alleged mishandling of classified records.

According to the transcript, NARA’s Chief Operating Officer William Bosanko, who has served at the archives for more than 30 years, testified to the committee that “from Reagan forward we have found classified information in unclassified boxes.”

He said NARA’s initial outreach to the Trump team came after officials noticed that they were missing “high-visible items” from the Trump administration.

Bosanko testified that those items included “the letter that President Obama had left for President Trump” and “the correspondence with the leader of North Korea.”

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Ronald W. Reagan

Presidents dating back to Reagan have mishandled classified documents, NARA testified. (Photo by Cynthia Johnson/Getty Images) (Cynthia Johnson/Getty Images)

Biden and Pence’s retention of classified records were “self-identified,” Bosanko said, while admitting that “anybody’s ability to know that something has gone missing or astray is very limited.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner told Fox News Digital Wednesday that testimony from NARA officials “makes clear that the handling and mishandling of classified documents are a problem that stretches beyond the Oval Office.”

Turner was referring to Bosanko testimony, in which he told the committee that since 2010, NARA has received more than 80 calls from different libraries and universities to notify Archives officials that they had discovered classified information from former members of Congress, as well as former senior government officials in materials those individuals had submitted. 

Meanwhile, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith to serve as special counsel to investigate Trump’s alleged mishandling and retention of classified records from his presidency at his Mar-a-Lago home.

Garland also appointed Robert Hur to serve as special counsel to investigate President Biden’s alleged improper retention of classified records from the Obama administration.

Bosanko told the committee it is “very obvious that it is an ongoing investigation.”

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