June 2, 2023
Trump ordered White House documents moved out of storage at Mar-a-Lago after receiving subpoena: reports

Trump ordered White House documents moved out of storage at Mar-a-Lago after receiving subpoena: reports

Former President Donald Trump reportedly personally ordered boxes of top secret documents moved out of a storage room at his Mar-a-Lago resort after he was hit with a subpoena to return them to the government.

In what would amount to be the strongest evidence of obstruction of justice, Trump told at least one aide to take boxes from the storage to his personal residence last spring after he received the legal order to cough up all classified records, according to twin bombshell published reports on Thursday.

The longtime Trump aide, named in one report as Walt Nauta, has spilled the beans about his boss in repeated interviews with the FBI and is considered a critical witness against the former president.

Former President Donald Trump pauses while speaking at a rally at the Minden Tahoe Airport in Minden, Nev., Oct. 8, 2022.

The account was bolstered by video security footage showing the boxes being moved, effectively confirming the aide’s story.

The damning twin reports in the Washington Post and New York Times help to explain why prosecutors were so sure Trump had failed to fully comply with the subpoena and why a judge authorized the explosive Aug. 8 search of his waterfront home and club.

Trump has been locked in a dispute with the government for months over the documents, including highly classified materials, that he improperly took with him after leaving the White House in January 2021.

The former president returned about 15 boxes of the records, but the feds correctly believed more documents remained at Mar-a-Lago or elsewhere.

Prosecutors obtained a subpoena requiring Trump to return all the outstanding classified materials. He handed over dozens of documents and his lawyers submitted a statement claiming they a “diligent search” revealed no more were at the resort.

This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and redacted by in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

But the feds had evidence that Trump was lying and defying the subpoena.

When they initially questioned the aide, he denied ever moving the boxes, the reports said. But when confronted with evidence to the contrary, he opened up about Trump’s direct involvement in trying to move the documents, a big legal no-no after getting a subpoena.

The aide has also told investigators about Trump’s other efforts to get subordinates to help him thwart efforts to get the documents back.

An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., Aug. 31, 2022.

The Department of Justice has said it’s investigating mishandling of documents, violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice and suspect Trump has still not handed over all the documents.

Trump derides the probe as a partisan witch hunt and has told supporters that he believes the documents belong to him, which is not true.

Prosecutors are unlikely to decide whether charge Trump in the case until after the midterm elections to avoid any perception of tipping the political scale.

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