Trump’s Lawyer Confirmed Return of Classified Documents

Donald Trump

A lawyer for former US President Donald Trump made a written statement in June that the politician had returned all classified documents from his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida to the US government, the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the document.

According to the media outlet, the existence of such a statement, which has not earlier been reported, could have made law enforcement officers think that Trump was not completely honest with investigators concerning the issue. It also might explain the criminal articles on the basis of which a search warrant was issued. In addition, the US Justice Department had access to security footage from Trump’s residence, which raised concerns about documents being misused, the New York Times reported.

The US federal court unsealed the search warrant, signed by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on August 5, which authorized a raid on Trump’s residence until August 19. The Federal Bureau of Investigation ultimately searched the facility on August 8.

A receipt included with the search warrant shows that investigators took various documents, some of which included materials labeled “Top Secret.”

Trump said in a statement on Friday that all materials kept at the residence were declassified and securely stored. Previously, Trump said the move to raid his residence was indicative of the Democrats and establishment Republicans weaponizing the justice system in the United States against political opponents and prevent him from running in the 2024 presidential election.

The search warrant indicates that the raid was conducted as part of a federal probe into potential violations of the Espionage Act, removal or destruction of records and obstruction of an investigation.

The destruction of records charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, defense information violation charge up to ten years, and concealment of records charge up to three years under US law.

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