NYT: Trump lawyer told DOJ classified material was returned
A lawyer for former President Donald Trump signed a statement in June saying that all classified documents Trump had brought to his home in Mar-a-Lago had been returned, although the FBI search on Monday found more of the documents.
At least one of Trump’s lawyers signed the statement affirming that all classified material had been returned, four sources told The New York Times.
The FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago on Monday but have not publicly released the search warrant used to access the former president’s home.
The Department of Justice moved on Thursday to unseal the warrant and share information about the search with the public.
“The public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing,” Justice Department lawyers wrote.
Sources for the Times said that the June statement was written up and signed after high-level chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division Jay Bratt visited Mar-a-Lago in early June.
The department subpoenaed Trump earlier this year in a search for missing documents he may have taken after he left office.
Advisors told the former president to return all of the documents in his possession but said that Trump seemed to want to keep some of the classified information, the Times wrote.
The Justice Department said earlier this week the raid on Mar-a-Lago was related to possible criminal obstruction, which could be related to the statement reported by the Times.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Thursday: “Federal law, long standing department rules and our ethical obligations prevent me from providing further details as to the basis of the search at this time.”
However, the legal motion filed by the DOJ could unveil more information next week about the reasons behind the raid.