Last Friday, the Department of Justice released a partially redacted affidavit outlining the reasons why the FBI sought and received a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago. I covered it on Sunday – the FBI and DOJ had made, over the course of about nine months, a series of good-faith efforts to simply recover the classified, top-secret documents stolen by Donald Trump. Trump met those good-faith efforts with lies, obstruction and criminal behavior. Even after the FBI executed a subpoena for the documents in June, Trump had his lawyers swear that the FBI now had everything, all while he withheld boxes and boxes full of top-secret material. He then HID the documents all around Mar-a-Lago.
Well, Donald Trump keeps on making it worse for himself. He asked for an independent review of the materials seized from MAL, and so the DOJ filed a new 36-page disclosure to the court. Last Friday’s affidavit outlined the FBI’s probable cause for a search warrant. This filing discloses what the FBI actually FOUND in the August raid.
Among the new disclosures in the 36-page filing were that the search yielded three classified documents in desks inside Mr. Trump’s office, with more than 100 documents in 13 boxes or containers with classification markings in the residence, including some at the most restrictive levels. That was twice the number of classified documents the former president’s lawyers turned over voluntarily while swearing an oath that they had returned all the material demanded by the government.
The investigation into Mr. Trump’s retention of government documents began as a relatively straightforward attempt to recover materials that officials with the National Archives had spent much of 2021 trying to retrieve. The filing on Tuesday made clear that prosecutors are now unmistakably focused on the possibility that Mr. Trump and those around him took criminal steps to obstruct their investigation.
Investigators developed evidence that “government records were likely concealed and removed” from the storage room at Mar-a-Lago after the Justice Department sent Mr. Trump’s office a subpoena for any remaining documents with classified markings. That led prosecutors to conclude that “efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,” the government filing said.
The filing included one striking visual aid — a photograph of at least five yellow folders recovered from Mr. Trump’s resort and residence marked “Top Secret” and another red one labeled “Secret.”
So, Christina Bobb – Trump’s lawyer – signed the document swearing, in June, that Trump had turned over all classified material in his possession. Meaning she lied to the FBI and Justice in writing. She’s going to need her own lawyer. It’s really shocking that Trump just kept on obstructing for months and months even when the FBI was like “dude, we know what you have and you cannot keep it.” Trump was squirreling top-secret spy files in his unlocked desk in Mar-a-Lago. He was keeping sh-t in, like, cabanas and hotel closets?? It’s legitimately insane.
Here’s the photo the FBI included in their court filing. This is from the August raid, where they found all of the top-secret documents hidden away all around MAL.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, the FBI/DOJ.