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Trump administration sued for failure to keep records of meeting with foreign leaders

Three organizations filed a lawsuit to force the Trump administration to keep and preserve records of the president’s meetings with foreign leaders as mandated by the Presidential Records Act. Barbara Keys of the Society of American Foreign Relations, one of the principals in the lawsuit, remarked of the Trump lapses, “Failing to make or keep records damages not only the capacity of history to render judgment in the future, but also of government to pursue the country’s interests in the present. It also undermines the principle of government accountability that is the very bedrock of democracy.” (National Security Archives, May 7, 2019, press release)

President Donald Trump has met several times with Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without a record keeper. His son-in-law and presidential aide Jared Kushner also allegedly broke the law by meeting with top officials from Saudi Arabia without State Department personnel to chronicle the event. The lawsuit observed that the records are vital for future administrations in conducting effective foreign policy. The lawsuit states, “the next individual who becomes president should not be left to guess what promises or deals President Trump made on behalf of the American people.” (UPI, May 8, 2019, by Darryl Coote)

For prior FAC coverage on the issue, click here.

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