At least two additional classified documents have been uncovered by a third-party team conducting a search of a storage unit used by Trump’s team in southern Florida, a new report reveals. The search of that unit, alongside searches of Trump Tower in New York City and Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, was conducted after federal Judge Beryl Howell pushed the Trump team to continue its hunt for materials.
These items were originally covered by a federal subpoena demanding an expansive array of items marked classified that the former president may have been harboring. Dozens of documents were eventually provided to investigators alongside a signed assertion that the Trump team was delivering everything covered by the subpoena, but that was before an August raid of Mar-a-Lago uncovered yet another round of documents from the Trump era that were marked as classified. (Donald has contested their status.) There were still concerns even after the raid that Trump had more docs. The further classified materials found in the recent searches have been provided to the FBI. Jack Smith, the recently selected special counsel, has this probe under his area of authority.
An early report from The Washington Post about the discovery didn’t specify the documents’ contents. Other materials found in Trump’s possession have previously been tied to gathering intelligence from covert human sources — the revelation of the contents of which could put these individuals in danger, and another document was said to contain information about a foreign country’s nuclear capabilities.
At least some contents of the storage unit originate with a northern Virginia office used by the Trump team following his departure from the White House. A federal agency known as the General Services Administration was involved with securing the unit in July of last year. The storage facility is separate from a storage area on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago itself that has repeatedly come up in the government’s push to reclaim these classified materials. Several department officials met with lawyers for Trump in the resort storage area prior to the FBI raid, although a government court filing indicated Evan Corcoran — on Trump’s team — blocked department officials from personally looking through boxes in the room, which was evidently among locations agents later seized materials in August. A source claimed to the Post that they didn’t know of Trump ever having gone to the offsite storage unit where additional documents were found.
According to the Trump team, third-party searches that were conducted of Trump Tower and the Bedminster property didn’t reveal any additional classified materials. Reportedly, the federal judge directing the effort didn’t provide specific instructions for the method of completing the additional searches, although concern that Trump still had docs rightfully possessed by government authorities were apparently wide-ranging, with officials at both the Justice Department and the federal record-keeping agency that is known as the National Archives expressing worries.
Trump previously attempted to defend himself with accusations about other ex-presidents’ handling of their administrations’ docs, but officials fact-checked his claims. “President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified,” Donald insisted. To that, the Archives noted: “NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA… As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his administration.”