Biden’s Archivist Pick to Take Helm During Firestorm Over Trump Raid

President Joe Biden’s nominee to the usually obscure and apolitical office of archivist of the United States comes as the agency she hopes to lead is in the middle of the biggest political story in the country. 

Biden, Aug. 3 announced the nominationColleen Shogan will head the National Archives and Records Administration. 

Five days later, the FBI raided the Florida home of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, after the National Archives asked the Justice Department to investigate its concerns over the former president’s possession of some documents earlier this year. 

The controversy over documents at Mar-a-Lago, which long preceded Shogan’s nomination as archivist, likely will continue to thrust the agency responsible for maintaining government records into the forefront of a national story. 

Shogan, 46, is senior vice president and director of the David M. Rubenstein Center for White House History, the research arm of  the White House Historical Association. She was adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University’s government department. 

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Shogan also is the author of eight murder mysteries in a series called “Washington Whodunnit” in which the main character is a congressional aide who solves the cases. 

The Senate must confirm Shogan and referred Shogan’s nomination to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The native of Pittsburgh, she worked at the Library of Congress for over a decade in various senior roles. She is a former deputy Director of the Congressional Research Service which produces reports for legislators. She was also an assistant professor in government and politics at George Mason University. 

Shogan holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston College and a doctorate in American politics from Yale University.

Shogun was a modest donor to Democrat candidate. 

She made two contributions of $250 to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, according to Open Secrets, a non-profit that tracks money in politics. She contributed $250 to Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 after he secured Democrats’ nomination.

In 2013, she donated $1,000 to the Democratic Party of Virginia, which had a governor’s race that year. In 2016, she made one $250 contribution to Clinton’s second presidential campaign. 

The White House Historical Association referred The Daily Signal’s questions about Shogan to the White House, which did not respond to inquiries. 

The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project last week filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the National Archives and Records Administration seeking all communications between senior archives officials and the Biden White House, the Justice Department, the FBI, and Trump’s staff pertaining to Mar-a-Lago and other Trump residences. (The Heritage Foundation’s multimedia news organization, The Daily Signal, is The Daily Signal. 

In January, National Archives officials visited Mar-a-Lago and retrieved 15 boxes of documents that the agency said should have been transferred to the archives, not removed from the White House and sent to Trump’s personal residence. 

In February, the National Archives referred this matter to the Justice Department. The Justice Department launched an investigation within a few hours. 

The American Political Science Association published a prepared statement backing Shogan’s nomination, saying in part: 

Dr. Shogan has an outstanding record of executive leadership and service in government, an extensive record of research management, and an abiding commitment to the enduring value of the National Archives to our democracy and an informed citizenry.

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