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Arlingtonian nominated to be national archivist, but may have bumpy road to confirmation

Archivist of the United States nominee and Arlington resident Colleen Shogan (photo courtesy of the White House Historical Association)

President Joe Biden has nominated Arlington resident Dr. Colleen Shogan to be the Archivist of the United States.

In normal times, the Archivist nomination does not make national news headlines. But now, Shohan is reportedly facing pushing back on Capitol Hill by some Republicans upset with the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home.

The long-time local resident appears to be uniquely qualified for the role of Archivist, whose job is to serve as the “nation’s record keeper” and manage the National Archives.

Shogan is currently a director at the White House Historical Association, an instructor at Georgetown University, and was formerly a deputy director at the Library of Congress. Additionally, she is the board chair of the organization charged with building a national monument to women’s suffrage.

Shogan, a Yale Ph.D., is also the first woman nominated as the permanent Archivist of the United States.

However, in recent days, it seems her path to confirmation could be in peril due to events that are beyond her control.

Two weeks ago, the FBI conducted a search of former President Trump’s Florida home at the behest of the National Archives. For the last 18 months, the National Archives has been trying to retrieve at least two dozen boxes of presidential records material that belong to the federal government but were taken to Mar-a-Lago.

Among the items missing were letters from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and a note that President Barack Obama left Trump, according to the New York Times.

Trump reportedly refused to turn over the materials, which triggered a criminal investigation and the FBI search.

This, however, has led a number of Republicans, as well as Trump himself, to criticize the FBI and the National Archives for what they believe is an overreach of authority and a “witch hunt.”

This has led some GOP senators who will be part of Shogan’s confirmation hearings to say that they will be questioning the nominee much more closely and will “absolutely demand answers” from her about the search.

It’s worth noting that Shogan had nothing to do with the National Archives’ 18-month attempt to get back records nor the FBI search since she was nominated only several weeks ago and is still awaiting confirmation.

Nonetheless, the Arlington resident could be facing a “hostile path to confirmation,” as Bloomberg reports.

While a date has yet to be set for a confirmation hearing, it is expected to happen within the next few months. In response to a request from ARLnow, the White House declined to arrange an interview with Shogan prior to the confirmation.

Aside from her academic and professional accomplishments, Shogan has another unique entry in her biography. She is a murder mystery author who pens novels starring a congressional staffer who has a habit of stumbling upon homicides.

One of her “Washington Whodunit” series of novels is entitled “Larceny at the Library.”

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