Republican National Committee staffers have been told they must preserve all documents from last year’s presidential campaign – a step described as precautionary as investigations continue into Russian involvement in the election, according to a report on Monday.
“Given the important role that the RNC plays in national elections and the potentially expansive scope of the inquiries and investigations, it is possible that we will be contacted with requests for information,” BuzzFeed news reporting, citing a July 28 memo from the RNC’s counsel’s office.
“Therefore, we must preserve all documents potentially relevant to these matters until they are resolved or until we are informed by all necessary parties that preservation is no longer necessary ,” the website, which obtained a copy of the memo, reported.
The memo said the RNC had not been contacted by investigators probing Russian involvement – and there is “no specific reason to believe we will” – but “we have an obligation to keep potentially relevant documents.”
The RNC ordered all staffers not to “delete, destroy, modify, or remove from your paper files, laptop computer, desktop computer, tablet, mobile device, e-mail, or any storage system or device, any documents or records, or other materials” related to the presidential election.
The chairman of the RNC during the campaign was Reince Priebus, who served as President Trump’s White House chief of staff until he was fired last week.
Former Homeland Security director John Kelly was sworn-in on Monday to replace him.
Earlier in July, special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Moscow’s meddling in the election along with a number of congressional panels, told the White House to save all documents relating to a June 2016 meeting Donald Trump Jr. and several campaign associates, including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, attended with a Russian lawyer who has ties to the Kremlin.
Members of Trump’s transition team have also been instructed to save records related to the investigation.
“It is important to note that we are not aware of any suggestion whatsoever of improper or illegal activity by the RNC or any of its employees or officers,” the RNC memo said.