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NARA Aims to Clarify Privileges Over Presidential Records via Proposed Rule

The National Archives and Records Administration has released a proposed rule with the goal to clarify current and former presidents’ control over records during their terms, Federal News Radio reported Tuesday.

Meredith Somers writes the proposed rule would give the former and current president 60 days to claim privilege and stop the release of all or a portion of a presidential record that the NARA archivist intends to publish.

The president that seeks to prevent the release of a record should notify the archivist, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Somers reported.

The rule would also allow the current president to decide whether to uphold a former commander-in-chief’s claim or release the record within 90 days after the claim is received, according to the rule.

NARA said public access to presidential records often begins five years after the term has ended and a president can prevent access to their records for up to 12 years after they step down.

NARA will accept comments on the proposed rule until Jan. 27.

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