Chicago, IL

National Archives confirms 30 million Obama presidential documents are in Chicago

Jennifer Geer

However, Obama didn't bring the documents to Chicago. The records are sitting in the NARA facility, where NARA has complete control of them.

(CHICAGO) The National Archives at Chicago is the place people often turn to when researching the genealogy of their families. The National Archives keeps records of Federal population censuses, military service records, and some passenger arrival lists.

The Chicago facility, located at 7358 South Pulaski Road, houses records from federal agencies and courts in Illinois and the surrounding states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Why is the National Archives at Chicago in the news?

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. NARA recently released a statement disputing a claim made by former President Trump that former President Obama is keeping 33 million classified documents in Chicago.

Trump's claim

On Friday Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social to state the following,

"President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!"

NARA's statement

NARA released the following statement in a press release on Friday following Trump's claims.

"The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA). NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration."

NARA is open to the public

The research room at the NARA facility in Chicago is open to the public but does require an appointment before a visit. NARA staff will pull boxes of records before you arrive at your appointment.

The background for Trump's claim

Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate was searched by the FBI last week in its investigation into Trump's handling of classified presidential documents and potential violations of several laws.

Trump announced the search of his estate in a statement where he said the raid was "unannounced" and that his home was, "currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents."

Assessment of Trump's claim on Obama's documents

False. The records from Obama's presidency are unclassified and controlled by a government agency. They are not in Obama's possession.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

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