Preserving Digital History in the Time of Trump

A Primer on the Presidential Records Act

President Barack Obama takes notes during a video conference with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan in the Situation Room
President Barack Obama takes notes during a video conference with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan in the Situation Room of the White House, Oct. 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

As the country grapples with the hyperpartisan struggle over the impeachment and acquittal of Donald J. Trump, it’s worth reflecting on an arcane bit of legal history that could have wide-ranging implications that continue to echo long after these current questions are decided: the Presidential Records Act of 1978