The Washington Post is reporting that after Trump had been issued a subpoena by the DOJ for documents which he had taken from the White House and stored at Mar-a-Lago, he ordered aides to move boxes of documents from the storage room and perhaps other places into his personal residence at the multi-purpose resort which is, at once, a club, a hotel, an event facility, and Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida.
The FBI has interviewed at least one witness who described being ordered personally by Trump to move the boxes around Mar-a-Lago. According to the Post, security camera footage has been gathered by the FBI which corroborates the witness’s account. The footage “showed people moving the boxes,” in Mar-a-Lago,. The witness has been interviewed multiple times and at first denied handling classified materials or moving boxes but changed his story after the FBI had gathered more evidence, apparently the surveillance footage showing people moving the boxes.
The Post reported that the witness testimony played a role in the DOJ deciding to seek a search warrant for Trump’s residence, office, and storage room at Mar-a-Lago. Subsequently, the FBI subpoenaed additional footage from surveillance cameras at the resort/hotel/residence. It was after the FBI had executed the search warrant that they seized 103 more classified documents than Trump had turned over in response to the subpoena, which had been served two months earlier. The search of Mar-a-Lago in August also found 11,000 more documents and other materials that Trump had taken with him from the White House when he moved to Mar-a-Lago that were not turned over to the DOJ in response to the subpoena.
The DOJ’s response to Trump’s Supreme Court motion on Tuesday contained what appears to be an oblique reference to some of the evidence it gathered about Trump’s efforts to obstruct the criminal investigation into his mishandling of highly classified documents and other national defense information at Mar-a-Lago. From the DOJ filing: “The FBI uncovered evidence that the response to the grand jury subpoena was incomplete, that additional classified documents likely remained at Mar-a-Lago, and that efforts had likely been taken to obstruct the investigation.”
The only thing Trump did in response to the DOJ subpoena was have his attorneys hand over a single sealed envelope that contained only 38 classified documents, 17 of which were marked “Top Secret,” according to other court filings by the DOJ. Representatives of the DOJ, including its head of the counterintelligence division, Jay Bratt, personally went to Mar-a-Lago on June 3 to collect the sealed envelope and met with two of Trump’s lawyers, who allowed them to go into the storage room but not to inspect the boxes stored there.
It was at that meeting that Christina Bobb, a lawyer for Trump, provided the DOJ with a signed statement attesting that no more government documents, classified or unclassified, were held at Mar-a-Lago. The statement was proved false on August 8 when the FBI found the gigantic trove of government documents and other materials Trump had removed from the White House in January of 2021. Christina Bobb has now been interviewed by investigators for the DOJ about the circumstances behind her signed declaration, which was untrue, and what she knew about Trump’s storage of government documents at Mar-a-Lago. Bobb has been described in press reports as “cooperating” with the government. She had to hire her own lawyer after it was revealed that her June statement was blatantly false.
This story just keeps gushing new details about Trump’s crimes, and I will do my best to keep you abreast of each and every new development.
Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.
Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter
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