Lawyers find classified documents in Trump bedroom 4 months after Mar-a-Lago search

This image, contained in the indictment against former President Donald Trump, shows boxes stored at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida. / Justice Department via AP

Four months after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate, Donald Trump's lawyers discovered four documents marked "classified" in his private bedroom, reports "Politico".

Mar-a-Lago Police/Photo: Politico

That discovery was among several cited by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in his 2023 opinion that prosecutors presented compelling evidence that Trump knowingly hid national security documents in his home and then tried to hide them when the Justice Department try to get them back.

In his 87-page opinion, Howell said the likelihood that Trump had committed crimes was grounds for allowing special counsel Jack Smith to question the former president's lawyer, Evan Corcoran, about topics that would normally be protected by attorney-client privilege. Prosecutors, Howell said, showed Trump knew Corcoran was tasked with informing the government in June 2022 that all classified materials had been returned, "a representation the former president ... knew was wrong."

An FBI search of Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 confirmed that dozens of other classified documents remained at the property — but as Howell notes, additional classified materials were found at Trump's property after additional searches.

Howell — who was the chief judge of a federal district court in Washington at the time — described with varying degrees of disbelief how four classified documents could be discovered in Trump's private quarters months after prosecutors subpoenaed them and the FBI conducted its own exhaustive search. on the property.

"In particular, no justification is given as to how the former president could have missed the classified classified documents found in his bedroom at Mar-a-Lago," wrote Howell, an Obama appointee.

In a footnote, Howell also noted that another Trump adviser admitted to scanning the contents of a box containing classified materials in 2021 and storing them on a personal laptop provided by the PAC.

Trump's office delivered the box of four records to the FBI in January 2023, Howell noted.

Howell's opinion was printed along with a number of other previously secret grand jury-related documents stemming from an investigation into Trump's retention of a trove of classified documents after he leaves office in 2021, including some of the nation's most sensitive military secrets. U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon, a Trump appointee based in South Florida, released the series of documents on Tuesday after lengthy negotiations with Smith's team and Trump's lawyers over the changes.

 

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