National Security

DOJ sought Mar-a-Lago footage from days before Trump turned over docs to Archives

The Justice Department sought security footage at Mar-a-Lago from as far back as the week before former President Trump’s team turned over an initial batch of documents to the National Archives. 

The detail surfaced as a federal magistrate judge agreed to a Justice Department request to unseal a slightly less redacted version of the affidavit used to gain a warrant to search Trump’s Florida home. 

The bulk of the document unseals details that have since become public through reporting.

But the unsealed redactions offer a few new details about department’s investigation, particularly after it said in a late August filing that it had developed evidence that documents were “likely concealed and removed” while at Mar-a-Lago.

The May subpoena for video asks for camera footage from Jan. 10 onward, a little more than a week before Trump’s team turned over the 15 boxes to National Archives, which resulted in a referral to the Justice Department.

It’s unclear to what extent Trump’s team complied with that subpoena or if their cameras retained footage going back that far. The affidavit notes that Trump organization staff turned over a hard drive on July 6, but the rest of the paragraph remains redacted.

The New York Times previously reported that Mar-a-Lago had retained video footage for 60 days for some parts of the property.

The document also offers insights into conversations Trump’s attorneys had with the Justice Department following an additional May subpoena asking for the return of all records. Trump attorney Evan Corcoran primarily dealt with the Justice Department at that time.

Trump’s team turned over a limited number of documents while also submitting a sworn statement in June indicating there were no further records on the property. 

During that exchange, a figure listed as “FPOTUS Counsel 1” told authorities he was advised that all the records that were being turned over to the Justice Department were from the Mar-a-Lago storage room and that he was not advised that any documents were within Trump’s personal office.

Investigators would show the attorney was mistaken during their August search, but the phrasing renews questions over who relayed this information to the attorney.

Tags Donald Trump FBI Justice Department

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