Trump Employee Reportedly Gave FBI Key Evidence In Mar-A-Lago Probe

A Donald Trump employee told the FBI that the former president ordered boxes of documents to be moved from a storage room to his residence at the Mar-a-Lago compound after the former president received a subpoena for the return of classified materials, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The FBI has corroborated that account with surveillance footage showing a staffer moving boxes from a basement storage area, people familiar with the investigation told the Post.

The witness account and video could be instrumental in showing how Trump handled classified documents that the National Archives and Justice Department had repeatedly requested for months, suggesting he tried to subvert officials’ efforts to retrieve them.

Those two key pieces of evidence led the Justice Department to seek court authorization for a warrant to search the Palm Beach, Florida, resort, according to the Post.

The Justice Department issued a subpoena for the return of classified material in May. In June, the department sent officials to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve any remaining materials. They were reportedly shown the basement storage room and were assured by Trump’s legal team that all classified material had already been returned.

On Aug. 8, the FBI executed a search warrant at the Florida estate and recovered thousands more documents, including more than 100 that were marked as classified, some containing top secret information at the highest levels of classification.

Trump is being investigated for a number of potential crimes in the Mar-a-Lago document case, including obstruction, destruction of government records and mishandling of classified information.

According to the Post, multiple witnesses told the FBI they tried to persuade Trump to cooperate with the National Archives and Justice Department as they attempted for months to retrieve the documents in his possession, but he refused.

The Trump employee initially denied handling sensitive documents, but in a second interview, the staffer’s story changed dramatically, the Post reported. In the follow-up interview, the witness said they moved the boxes at Trump’s behest.

The witness is now considered a key component of the investigation, sources told the Post.

The newspaper reported that Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich did not answer questions for the article and instead sent a statement accusing President Joe Biden’s administration of weaponizing the Justice Department.

“The Biden administration has weaponized law enforcement and fabricated a Document Hoax in a desperate attempt to retain political power,” the statement said. “Every other President has been given time and deference regarding the administration of documents, as the President has the ultimate authority to categorize records, and what materials should be classified.”

Trump has offered numerous, sometimes conflicting, defenses for having the documents at Mar-a-Lago, which is also a private club. He’s called it a politically motivated attack, suggested the FBI planted evidence and argued he was allowed to have the documents anyway because he could declassify them with his mind.

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