Government officials quietly meet with staff at National Archives office ahead of expected closure

SEATTLE — Government officials quietly arrived at Seattle’s National Archives office Monday to speak with staff members.

The officials arrival follows a surprise announcement earlier this year that the Seattle offices of the National Archives were being slated for closure.

>> National Archives’ Seattle office expected to close, prompting backlash

According to people familiar with this week’s visit, tribal leaders will be meeting with federal staff members on Tuesday.

Tribal leaders are among those who have called for a change in direction. Local tribes rely on documents stored in the National Archives at Seattle to trace ancestral connections and determine tribal rights.

Legislators, and a number of researchers, have voiced opposition to the current plans. There is also the potential for litigation – KIRO 7 has learned that Washington’s attorney general is researching whether the government followed the law when making it’s decision to close the National Archives office in Seattle.

“I have assigned an attorney in our Complex Litigation Division to review this decision,” said AG Bob Ferguson in a written statement. “If we find that the administration did not follow the law, we will file a lawsuit.”

Ferguson’s office is attempting to obtain communications between a number of federal government offices – those documents were requested in early February.

KIRO 7 has reached out to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to get more information on the meetings being held this week in Seattle. It’s unclear at this time whether the arrival of upper management from out-of-town signals any change of plan, or whether the work to eventually shutter the Seattle office will continue.