More classified docs found at Mar-a-Lago months after FBI raid: report

Donald Trump’s attorneys discovered four documents marked “classified” in his bedroom four months after the FBI’s unprecedented raid on the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home.

That’s according to Politico, which cited a newly unsealed 2023 opinion by U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell on grand jury subpoenas.

The outlet said the Obama appointee’s opinion “found prosecutors had presented compelling evidence that Trump knowingly stashed national security documents in his home and then tried to conceal them when the Justice Department tried to retrieve them.”

More from Politico:

The FBI’s August 2022 search of Mar-a-Lago confirmed that dozens of other classified documents remained on the property — but as Howell notes, there were at least two more rounds of classified materials found on Trump’s property following additional searches.

Throughout the opinion, Howell — who was chief judge of the Washington, D.C. federal district court at the time — described with varying degrees of incredulity how four documents with classification markings could have been discovered in Trump’s private quarters months after prosecutors had subpoenaed them and the FBI conducted its own exhaustive search of the property.

 

Howell reportedly wrote that Trump’s lawyers told the Justice Department sometime around Dec. 15, 2022, that “a box containing four documents or partial documents, totaling six pages, with classified markings were found in a closet.” The documents reportedly contained markings at the “Secret level.”

The judge further noted that Trump’s office provided an additional box with the four documents to the FBI in early January 2023.

“Notably, no excuse is provided as to how the former president could miss the classified-marked documents found in his own bedroom at Mar-a-Lago,” Howell wrote.

The opinion reportedly detailed how special counsel Jack Smith’s team provided evidence that Trump made additional efforts to hide the classified documents — Howell said Smith had made a “likely” showing that Trump told his associates to “avoid the surveillance cameras he then understood to have been deputized by the government.”

There was another bombshell from the opinion that could potentially pump life into Trump’s classified documents case, which has been postponed almost certainly beyond the 2024 election.

“In a footnote, Howell also noted that another Trump adviser connected to his Save America PAC had acknowledged scanning the contents of the box that contained the classified materials in 2021 and storing them on a personal laptop provided by the PAC,” Politico reported.

Tom Tillison

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