According to various published reports, the investigation into former President Donald Trump that resulted in agents storming his Mar-a-Lago mansion last week is focused on a number of potential criminal allegations.
According to The NY Times, at least one of Trump’s attorneys signed a written statement earlier this summer to the DOJ claiming that all of the classified material and boxes that were in a storage area on the property had been given back to the federal government. Agents conducted a search of the storage area as well as Trump’s home and office on the property.
Federal investigators found 3 sets of secret documents, at least 4 sets of top secret documents, and 3 sets of confidential papers during their search–all authorized by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The signed statement, along with at minimum 11 sets of classified papers recovered on the property, might indicate that Trump or his legal team had lied to federal officials.
The search warrant specifies that the investigation is focused on possible breaches of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice connected to the destruction of papers, and unlawful taking of government records.
The probe started once the National Archives realized in 2020 that Trump had taken official documents with him when he departed from office, rather than leaving them.
Reviewing more than twelve boxes that Trump returned earlier in the year, officials discovered that many of the documents were marked as classified. The National Archives then contacted the DOJ who then convened a federal grand jury.
After a subpoena was issued, Trump’s advisers urged him to give the documents back that he still had, but he decided against it. The investigators visited Trump’s property in June and were led by Donald Trump’s attorneys to a storage area where some of the classified material was being kept. The classified information was given to the investigators. At least one of Trump’s attorneys subsequently signed a written statement claiming that all of the classified data had been handed over, according to at least one report.
The investigators told Donald Trump’s team that they should take more steps to secure the room where some of the White House records were being stored after the meeting. Subpoenaed surveillance footage of activity outside of his storage room revealed boxes being shuffled in and out for almost two months. During the investigation, a source that was close to Trump gave information to the FBI leading them to think there was more classified material on Trump property.
Although Trump has said he declassified all the documents at his Florida residence when he was president – which would have been legal- The New York Times reported that usually when something is declassified, classified markings are taken off the documents. The report stated that none of the criminal violations Donald Trump is under investigation for connects to whether the documents were classified or not, meaning Trump can still be charged with a crime even if he did declassify them.