Federal Prosecutors Demanding More Private Security Tapes From Trump Organization


Amid the federal criminal investigations conducted by Special Counsel Jack Smith at the Justice Department, a new report from The New York Times says authorities have sought additional surveillance footage covering portions of Mar-a-Lago from the Trump Organization.

That southern Florida resort tracing back to the former president is where he has largely resided since leaving the White House several years ago. The property is also where most of the classified documents from Trump’s time in office recovered by federal authorities were most recently stashed and where the FBI conducted a raid amid the investigation into the handling of those materials last year. Prosecutors have already sought and obtained other security footage from the southern Florida property, but questions remain. The video is positioned to help investigators piece together what exactly was done with all the documents found there, as well as any possible efforts to obstruct their probes — and obstruction is criminal.

In theory, the tapes could help address concerns about any unauthorized access to the sensitive files. Trump has touted the supposed security at Mar-a-Lago as some kind of automatic defense against possibly imagined threats, but it’s not exactly — or anywhere close to — a clincher in federal law whether a building’s walls have any particular thickness. You still can’t just harbor classified files wherever you want.

The Times didn’t include the timestamps associated with the footage investigators have been newly seeking, meaning what precise periods of time they’re examining. “Prosecutors have also issued several subpoenas to Mr. Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, seeking additional surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago, his residence and private club in Florida, people with knowledge of the matter said,” the newspaper explained Thursday. The outlet did note, though, how questions have been circulating about the completeness of footage the Trump team made available. Apparently, the tapes include gaps, and relatedly, prosecutors also subpoenaed a software company generally responsible for security footage from Mar-a-Lago.

Already on the footage that has emerged, prosecutors found documentation of Trump aide Walt Nauta, with the apparent involvement of another individual, moving potentially critically relevant boxes. There was clearly some serious breakdown in communication and, more specifically, relaying the truth considering the inaccuracy of signed attestations from a Trump lawyer last year claiming everything covered by a subpoena for classified documents Trump had was getting returned.