The US government agency that manages the preservation of presidential records has asked the justice department to investigate Donald Trump for his handling of official papers.
US presidents are required by law to transfer all of their letters, work documents and emails to the National Archives.
But officials say the former president illegally ripped up many documents.
Some of them had to be taped back together, the Archives said.
It has also emerged that 15 boxes of papers that Trump should have turned over when he left the White House were instead taken to his home in Florida.
They include letters between Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the presidential handover letter from Barack Obama.