Matt Bush, FISM News
The Washington Post reported that two Mar-a-Lago employees moved boxes of papers just one day before the FBI executed a search warrant last June to recover classified documents at the Trump residence.
President Trump and his aides allegedly also held a “dress rehearsal” for moving sensitive documents even before receiving a subpoena for those documents in May 2022. If the report is correct, it could extend “the timeline determining whether the former president obstructed justice.”
The incident in 2022 is not the one that Trump has referred to as a “raid” by the FBI. That occurred on August 8, 2022, when the FBI arrived unannounced at Mar-a-Lago and proceeded to comb through the estate thoroughly, recovering more than 100 classified documents during the search.
The employees were reported to have moved documents in and out of a storage room in Mar-a-Lago, and it was that same storage room where Trump’s lawyer, Evan Corcoran, found 40 classified documents during the June 2022 search.
What is in question now, according to The Guardian, is “whether Trump arranged for classified documents to be removed from the storage room before Corcoran searched there, to illegally retain them, even though he had been told he could not.”
On top of that, the Post also reported that prosecutors now have evidence that Trump would sometimes keep classified documents in his office in plain view and sometimes even showed those documents to others.
The new evidence could make things more difficult for the Trump defense team. Prosecutors are deciding whether or not to press charges against Trump and those charges would probably be either for obstruction or mishandling national security. The timeline is important in both determining Trump’s intent with the documents and if he was purposely misleading officials.
Trump is the current frontrunner to be the GOP nominee for president in 2024, and as such it is difficult for some to believe that this is more than a political stunt. However, USA Today reported that Trump’s lawyers are requesting a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland about the investigation.
“We request a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss the ongoing injustice that is being perpetrated by your Special Counsel and his prosecutors,” said the Tuesday letter to Garland.
A request for a meeting like this, according to Barb McQuade, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at the University of Michigan, almost always indicates that an indictment is coming and this request could be an attempt to negotiate a resolution.
Trump continues to deny wrongdoing in the handling of classified documents, even going as far as to say, “I was there, and I took what I took, and it gets declassified,” and he has said that presidents can declassify documents “even by thinking about it.”
“This is nothing more than 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,” Steven Cheung, a Trump spokesman, wrote in a statement.
The content of the boxes was unknown to the employees who moved them, and it is not clear if the “dress rehearsal,” as described by Corcoran, had anything to do with an attempt to obstruct justice.