Donald Trump

Flushed or Just Lost to History? Trump Leaves Hole in the Record

Historians say the destruction or misappropriation of White House records is a threat to posterity and the public interest

Donald Trump
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

Former President Donald Trump says he never flushed history down a White House toilet.

But some historians and public-interest advocates say that new revelations about Trump's habit of destroying documents — along with his decision to take at least 15 boxes of items home from Washington — have exposed holes in the law governing the preservation of White House records and threatened to muddy the picture of his presidency in ways that are significant for posterity and the rule of law.



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"You can’t hold anyone accountable and you can’t write an accurate history if you don’t know all that’s there," said Lee White, a lawyer who is executive director of the National Coalition for History. "For historians, it’s the old 'if the tree falls in the forest and no one is there,' how are you going to know a record is missing if it’s missing?"


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