Our friends at TBD report that federal agents have seized several boxes of materials apparently belonging to the National Archives from the Rockville home of a recently-retired Archives employee.
Agents from the Archives arrived at Leslie Waffen’s home with a search warrant for specific materials, but no arrest warrant for Waffen, who has not been charged. Waffen had worked at the Archives for 40 years before retiring in June.
An audit completed by the Government Accountability Office this month found numerous issues with the National Archives’ preservation and security process, some internal and some related to document retention policies not being followed at other federal agencies. The audit was conducted after news reports last year of certain particularly valuable historical documents being missing, such as the original patent for the Wright Brothers’ flying machine.
There is no word on what specifically the Archives expected to or actually did find at Waffen’s home, but it’s kind of unnerving to contemplate the idea of important pieces of the American historic record sitting in boxes in a retired government employee’s basement.