Archive nominee to answer questions about Mar-a-Lago search

The nominee to head the National Archives and Records Administration will face unusually critical scrutiny during a confirmation process complicated by the agency’s role in an ongoing investigation into a former president.

President Joe Biden’s election to become the next United States archivist, Colleen Shogan, will appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old historian and political scientist’s path to confirmation could get rocky as Republicans continue to demand more information about last month’s FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

The National Records Bureau launched the investigation earlier this year with a reference to the FBI after Trump returned 15 boxes of documents containing dozens of records with secret markings.

sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., a member of the committee investigating Shogan’s appointment, “will absolutely demand answers” about the FBI search as part of her hearing, a Scott spokesperson told Bloomberg News last month. Other committee members, including Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., have chastised Attorney General Merrick Garland over the investigation and questioned the administration’s motives.

It’s a controversial backdrop to the archivist’s appointment, a position often filled by academics and historians who typically move through the Senate with little scrutiny or attention. Born in Pittsburgh, Shogan has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston College and a doctorate in American politics from Yale University.

“It is my understanding that it has never been a political issue before and it is not a partisan task,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman, one of the Republicans who will be questioning Shogan. sen. Gary Peters, the Democratic chairman of the committee, said he supports Shogan’s nomination but is concerned about the reaction of his Republican colleagues.

“Hopefully she will be warmly received by the people, but you won’t know until the day of the hearing,” said Peters.

Shogan will be presented at her hearing Wednesday morning by a friend, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va. The senator said she has great respect for Shogan but warned she doesn’t know how her nomination will shake out.

The nominee is no stranger to the marble halls of Congress. Shogan began her career as a congressional aide for Senator Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., then worked her way up to a position with the Congressional Research Service, a scientific operation that provides unbiased analysis for lawmakers and their staff. Shogan also spent ten years at the Library of Congress.

She is currently an executive at the White House Historical Association, where she has worked under both the Trump and Biden administrations.

As an archivist, Shogan would take the helm of an agency that goes to great lengths to preserve the country’s records, including valuable documents such as the constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The extensive collection includes 13 billion pages of text and 10 million maps, charts and drawings, as well as tens of millions of photographs, films and other records.

The White House said in a statement Tuesday that officials look forward to her hearing.

“She is well qualified to become the next United States archivist and we hope the Senate will soon confirm her so she can begin the important work ahead,” a spokesperson said.