Trump employee says ex-president told him to move boxes of papers at Mar-a-Lago after subpoena:

An employee of former President Donald Trump working at his Mar-a-Lago residence told the FBI that Mr Trump asked him to move boxes of papers ahead of the FBI’s search of the residence in August, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday. Several people familiar with the investigation into Mr Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents told the Post that after Mr Trump recieved a subpoena for any classified materials at Mar-a-Lago in May, the former president told people to move boxes to his residence at the property. Security camera footage reportedly shows people moving boxes. The FBI ultimately searched Mar-a-Lago on August 8, seizing a number of documents as it looked for evidence that Mr Trump engaged in obstruction, destruction of government records, or the mishandling of classified information. Mr Trump and his political and media allies fumed at the search, despite evidence that the FBI did in fact find classified information improperly stored at his personal residence. In a statement to the Post, Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich called the leak of the information that Mr Trump ordered boxes of documents moved “un-American.” “The Biden administration has weaponized law enforcement and fabricated a Document Hoax in a desperate attempt to retain political power,” Budowich said in a statement. “Every other President has been given time and deference regarding the administration of documents, as the President has the ultimate authority to categorize records, and what materials should be classified.” In its initial interview with the Mar-a-Lago employee, they reportedly claimed that they never moved any potentially sensitive material. But when the witness was interviewed for a second time, their story is said to have changed significantly as they described moving boxes at Mr Trump’s direction. Mr Trump’s response to the subpoena and his repeated unwillingness to cooperate with the National Archives and Records Administration and the Justice Department suggest that he may have been attempting to impede the federal government’s attempts to recover classified documents. The employee’s testimony about Mr Trump’s response to the subpoena sheds further light on the bureau’s decision to search Mar-a-Lago, which came only after Mr Trump and his legal team failed to respond to the subpoena by turning over the documents. A judge signed off on a search warrant for the Florida property, which was executed in August. The FBI ultimately seized 103 classified documents, including one that reportedly described another country’s military defences and nuclear capabilities, as well as some 11,000 documents not marked classified. The Justice Department’s investigation into Mr Trump’s handling of classified documents is just one of a number of legal headaches for the former president, who is believed to weighing another White House run in 2024 alongside a number of other Republicans including Florida Gov Ron DeSantis. He has offered several different explanations for his handling of the classified documents, including a baseless allegation that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago. The property does not include an authorised space for the storage of classified documents, a fact that Justice Department officials reportedly communicated directly to Mr Trump’s team.
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