After the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago for classified and other documents, Donald Trump encouraged a junior aide to move another box of documents. This box contained presidential schedules, some marked “classified.”The box was located at a separate office location in Florida, according to The Guardian.
It seemed that Trump did not play a “direct role in the mishandling of the box.” Nonetheless, the ex-president still continued to be under investigation for potential “retention of national security documents and obstruction of justice.” This aide had the box at a Mar-a-Lago bungalow, the Tennis Cottage. The aide had been working out of that bungalow office. Then, the woman took the box to a leased office near Trump’s home. The FBI did not find these documents, because they were off-site at the time.
By summer’s end in 2022, the aide relocated to “the anteroom of Trump’s own office at Mar-a-Lago” along wi the box of documents. At this point in the investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the case’s federal prosecutors appeared to believe Trump was still withholding additional documents.
The previous president’s attorneys went into action:
‘The Trump legal team subsequently hired two private contractors with security clearances to search Trump properties around Thanksgiving: Trump Tower in New York, Trump Bedminster and an external storage unit that turned up two additional documents marked “SECRET.”‘
That was not adequate for the DOJ. Instead, the department requested Trump’s attorneys perform a third search at Mar-a-Lago in December:
‘It was at that point that the junior aide revealed for the first time that she could find out exactly what they were, because Michael – whose desk she inherited after she left the Trump political team at the end of the summer – had told her to scan all of the schedules on to her laptop.’
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Special Counsel Jack Smith interviewed the aide, CNN reported:
‘Investigators working for special counsel Jack Smith in recent weeks have interviewed a Trump aide who copied classified materials found in the box using her phone to put them onto a laptop. After a voluntary interview with the aide, prosecutors subpoenaed the password to the laptop, which she provided, according to one of the sources.’
Trump’s attorneys reported to the DOJ that the files had been uploaded onto the aide’s laptop. The prosecutors warned ex-president’s people that the documents had to be turned over to the DOJ, or they would subpoena the aide to gain access to her computer:
‘To avoid a subpoena, the Trump legal team agreed to turn over the laptop in its entirety last month, though they did not allow federal prosecutors to collect it from Mar-a-Lago and handed it over just outside the gates of the property.’
Watch this space.
Gloria Christie is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions, her book written in her own unique style with a twist of humor on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress).