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Trump personally packed up boxes of documents linked to Mar-a-Lago raid investigation: Report

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 10/4/2022 Jerry Dunleavy

Former President Donald Trump personally packed some of the boxes filled with records at Mar-a-Lago that were later transferred to the National Archives in January, according to a new report.

Trump’s team had initially handed over 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives in January, and the FBI’s affidavit justifying its Aug. 8 raid said the bureau’s criminal investigation “began as a result of a referral” from the National Archives to the Justice Department on Feb. 9.

The Washington Post reported Monday that “Trump himself eventually packed the boxes” sent to the National Archives in January, citing “people familiar” with the matter.

TRUMP PUSHES TO DELAY DOJ'S SPECIAL MASTER APPEAL

Former President Donald Trump tosses caps to the crowd as he holds a rally on Sept. 23, 2022, in Wilmington, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File) © Provided by Washington Examiner Former President Donald Trump tosses caps to the crowd as he holds a rally on Sept. 23, 2022, in Wilmington, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chris Seward, File)

Trump's legal team renewed its attacks on the raid investigation in the wake of the report's release.

“Biden’s weaponized DOJ has no greater ally than the fake news media, which seems to only serve as the partisan microphone of leakers and liars buried deep within the bowels of America’s government,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said Monday evening.

“President Trump remains committed to defending the Constitution and the Office of the Presidency, ensuring the integrity of America for generations to come.”

The FBI previously said it seized more than 11,000 pages of records from Mar-a-Lago during the bureau’s unprecedented August raid, including roughly 100 documents with classification markings. Unsealed court filings revealed that Trump is being investigated under the Espionage Act, as well as related to laws regarding obstruction of justice.

The Post also reported on Monday that Trump asked his team to release a statement in early February claiming he had returned "everything" the National Archives had asked for. The outlet said Trump’s proposed Feb. 7 statement “was never released over concerns by some of his team that it was not accurate.”

Trump did put out a lengthy statement a few days later, where he did not specifically contend that he had turned over everything.

Acting Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall said Friday that “while there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should.” The archivist added to congressional Democrats that “with respect to the second issue concerning whether former President Trump has surrendered all presidential records, we respectfully refer you to the Department of Justice in light of its ongoing investigation.”

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Trump and some of his allies have claimed that he declassified the records at Mar-a-Lago, although those declassification arguments have not made it into Trump’s court filings. His lawyers have said their specific contentions about alleged declassification may need to be used as legal defenses in the event of a possible indictment from the Justice Department.

 

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Tags: Justice, Justice Department, National Archives, Donald Trump, FBI, Mar-a-Lago, News

Original Author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original Location: Trump personally packed up boxes of documents linked to Mar-a-Lago raid investigation: Report

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