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Washington Post: Trump employees moved boxes a day before the Justice Department went to Mar-a-Lago | CNN Politics


Two Donald Trump employees moved boxes of paper in Mar-a-Lago a day before the Justice Department visited the former president’s residence to collect classified documents. The Washington Post reported Thursday.

The Post, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that investigators view the moment, just before FBI agents and a prosecutor visited the Florida resort to retrieve documents sought as part of a subpoena, as a possible obstruction sign.

Investigators have evidence, the newspaper reported, that the former president kept classified documents in a conspicuous place in his office and had shown them to other people. He also allegedly conducted “a ‘dress rehearsal’ to move confidential documents” along with his team before they were subpoenaed in May 2022, according to the report.

CNN previously reported that following the May 2022 subpoena, that the former president wanted to fight – Federal prosecutors had a meeting in June in Mar-a-Lago during which they were shown documents that had been kept in a basement room. At the meeting, Trump’s lawyers handed over an envelope containing 28 classified documents, according to a breakdown from CNN.

The June meeting was later followed by a court-approved search of the property by the FBI in August, in part because researchers developed evidence that classified documents potentially remained at the residence, a source previously told CNN.

A lawyer for one of Trump’s employees told the Post that his client had been trying to help Trump aide Walt Nauta and did not know what the boxes contained. “He was seen on Mar-a-Lago security video helping Walt Nauta move boxes to a storage area on June 2, 2022. My client saw Mr. Nauta moving the boxes and offered to help him.” , attorney John Irving told the Post.

Prosecutors have pressed for answers about why Nauta was seen on surveillance footage of Mar-a-Lago removing boxes from the storage room before and after the May subpoena, which said in an interview with investigators that It was under the direction of Trump.

The latest revelations come as special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents and possible obstruction of justice, recently obtained new evidence that could undermine Trump’s defense in the documents case.

CNN exclusively reported last week that the National Archives planned to deliver 16 discs showing that Trump and his advisers were aware of the correct declassification process, which could undermine persistent claims by Trump and his allies that he did not have to follow a specific process to declassify documents.

Trump told CNN during a Republican presidential town hall earlier this month that he had declassified documents simply by removing them from the White House.

“He had every right under the Presidential Records Act,” Trump told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, adding: “You have the Presidential Records Act. I was there and I took what I took and they declassified it.”

However, under the law, the National Archives becomes the legal custodian of the president’s records when he leaves office.

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