Prosecutors have reportedly heard more than one testimony alleging that Trump was careless with classified documents, leaving them out in the open and at times showing them to people
Witnesses are telling prosecutors that Donald Trump had a habit of showing classified documents to visitors at his private Mar-a-Lago club, according to a new Washington Post report.
Sources tell the outlet that the former president — who is currently running for the office again — has been accused by witnesses of keeping classified documents in an area of his office where they were visible, at times showing them to people who visited him.
The report comes as Trump, 76, is mired in an ongoing criminal investigation by the Department of Justice into whether he violated statutes related to national security by allegedly mishandling classified documents he allegedly removed from the White House at the end of his presidency.
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Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was searched by federal agents in August, following numerous attempts by the federal government to track down missing documents from Trump’s time in office.
In January, after being contacted by the National Archives and Records Administration, Trump and his associates sent 184 documents from Mar-a-Lago to the archives. Then, in early June, FBI agents and a senior Justice Department national security supervisor reportedly visited the resort in regards to boxes of classified documents sitting in the property’s basement. A Trump attorney handed over 38 documents at the time, and officials followed up with instructions to install a stronger lock on the storage room door.
According to the new Post report, two of Trump’s employees allegedly moved boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago the day before FBI’s June visit — timing viewed as suspicious by investigators, per the outlet. One source told the Post that Trump and his aides even held a “dress rehearsal” for moving sensitive papers around the property.
Trump has disputed that he mishandled classified documents, and has claimed on social media that any documents in his possession had been declassified.
In a recent statement to the Post, a spokesperson for the former president called the classified documents investigation “a targeted, politically motivated witch hunt against President Trump that is concocted to meddle in an election and prevent the American people from returning him to the White House.”
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More than 300 classified documents have reportedly been found at Mar-a-Lago and recovered by the federal government since Trump left office.
A 38-page affidavit used to obtain the August warrant showed there was probable cause “to believe that evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed” would be found on the premises of Trump’s home.
RELATED: Former White House Lawyer Told Trump to Return Classified Materials in 2021: Report
Federal prosecutors also released a photo of document folders found at Trump’s home that were clearly marked “Top Secret.”
“In some instances, even the FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys conducting the review required additional clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents,” officials said of the materials found by the FBI.
In their 36-page court filing submitted Aug. 30, 2022, U.S. prosecutors said that “efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”
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