Aides and volunteers on Donald Trump’s presidential transition were instructed Thursday to save any records related to “several pending investigations into potential attempts by Russia interests to influence the 2016 election,” according to a memo provided to POLITICO.
In the memo from a transition lawyer, campaign officials were told to preserve all documents related to the Russian Federation, Ukraine and a number of campaign advisers and officials, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, advisers Carter Page, Rick Gates and Roger Stone, and former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn.
The individuals cited were not immediately available for comment. None has been formally accused of any wrongdoing.
“In order to assist these investigations, the Presidential Transition Team and its current and former personnel have a responsibility to ensure that, to the extent potentially relevant documents exist, they are properly preserved,” the memo stated.
The memo came from Kory Langhofer of an Arizona law firm called Statecraft. Langhofer confirmed he wrote the memo but declined to comment. Langhofer was previously a lawyer on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign and Carly Fiorina’s 2016 presidential bid.
The document request, while not unexpected, sheds further light on the scope of the probe and what lawyers have been asked for – or expect to be asked for – as FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate and House of Representatives expand their investigations.
The request – dated Thursday – also told aides and volunteers on the transition to save all foreign travel records.
The records included “emails, voicemails, text messages, instant messages, social media posts, Word or WordPerfect documents, spreadsheets, databases, telephone logs, audio recordings, videos, photographs or images, information contained on desktops, laptops, tablet computers, smartphones or other portable devices, calendar records and diary data.”
The memo warned that “failure to follow these protocols could result in criminal or civil penalties, and could form the basis of legal claims, legal presumptions, or jury instructions relating to spoliation of evidence.”