Little has been disclosed by the Justice Department about the decision to retrieve White House records with an unannounced search for Mar-a-Lago on Monday. Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed on Friday that he “personally approved” the extraordinary step of seeking the warrant, and the Justice Department made the warrant public on Friday, revealing the government was investigating Trump for potential violations of three laws. criminal charges, including.
The former president was outraged that the FBI undertook a surprise search of Mar-a-Lago and suggested his team had complied with government requests.
“[T]They didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything,” he said in a Truth Social article on Friday. “They could have had it whenever they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in a secure warehouse, with an extra lock put in place as per their request… …They could have had it anytime they wanted – and that including a LONG TIME ago. They just had to ask.”
But CBS News learned that weeks before the raid, a lawyer for Trump signed a document certifying that all classified documents had been removed from Mar-a-Lago, according to two sources familiar with the timeline of events and the decision to seek the search warrant.
This came after a June 3 meeting between Justice Ministry officials and the former president’s lawyers at Mar-a-Lago. A grand jury subpoena had been issued in the spring, according to two sources, one close to Trump and the other a US official.
But after Trump’s attorney certified that all classified documents had been removed from Mar-a-Lago, investigators realized that in fact there could still be more classified documents at the Florida residence because They had spoken with a handful of people familiar with where and how documents are stored in the compound. It is not clear if these people are staffers of Trump or the Mar-a-Lago club.
On Sunday afternoon, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Mark Warner and Deputy Chairman Sen. Marco Rubio asked the Justice Department and Director of National Intelligence to provide the committee with the documents classified items seized during the search for Mar a Lago, and an “assessment of potential risks to national security as a result of their mishandling.”
The New York Times first reported on Trump’s attorney’s certification of the removal of classified material from Mar-a-Lago.
Trump’s spokesman, Taylor Budowich, asked for comment on the signed document, responding, “Like every Democrat-fabricated witch hunt before, the waters of this unprecedented and unnecessary raid are carried by a ready media. spreading suggestive leaks, anonymous sources, and no hard facts. The Biden administration thought it could ‘get Trump’, instead they were exposed as the very people who turn democracies into dictatorships.”