Former President Donald Trump lambasted the White House on Tuesday after a letter released by his ally revealed alarm within the Biden administration over Trump’s possession of hundreds of documents – some of which were among the nicknames the most classified from the government.
“The White House emphatically stated that they were NOT INVOLVED and knew absolutely nothing about the ongoing political witch hunt with me, and knew nothing at all about the Mar-a-Lago burglary” , Trump wrote on his social media platform on Tuesday.
The comments came after The New York Times reported Monday evening that the government had recovered more than 300 classified marked documents from Trump since he left office and that an initial recovery by the National Archives of half of those documents in January prompted the Justice Department to search Trump’s Florida estate earlier this month.
Among the 15 boxes Trump turned over to the National Archives in January were documents that covered a variety of topics of national security interest, a person briefed on the matter told The Times.
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Also on Monday, a Trump ally released a letter the National Archives sent to Trump’s legal team explaining how, among the 15 boxes recovered from Trump’s home, some of those documents were labeled “materials from the program.” special access” – one of the most classified designations. to the government.
The letter was published late Monday on the website of journalist and Trump ally John Solomon, along with a report under Solomon’s signature suggesting the White House worked with the Justice Department and the National Archives and Records. Administration for “opening” an investigation into mishandling of documents.
Still, some analysts called the May 10 letter he released “damning” to Trump, as it reveals federal investigators were growing alarmed about documents remaining in Trump’s possession after he left office. and underlines Trump’s opposition to the return of the documents despite the “urgency” conveyed by the Department of Justice.
According to the letter, the Justice Department and the FBI did not have access to the secure documents in January until May, following negotiations with Trump’s team, as the former president claimed executive privilege over the documents. folders.
“NARA notified the Department of Justice of this discovery, prompting the Department to request the President to instruct NARA to provide the FBI with access to the boxes in question so that the FBI and other members of the community intelligence can review them,” National Archivist Debra Wall wrote to Trump’s attorneys, adding that President Joe Biden had deferred to Wall on whether Trump’s claim of executive privilege should be upheld.
After Trump’s Florida home was searched earlier this month, White House officials said they were unaware the FBI was going to conduct a search at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump pointed to Tuesday’s letter, which he says reveals the White House “knew it all, in fact led the charge — a political NO, NO!”
The developments come as Trump’s team filed its first court case on Monday in response to the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida home, asking a federal judge to appoint a third party or “special master” to review the documents. deleted two weeks ago.
The lawsuit, which argues the federal government violated Trump’s Fourth Amendment rights, comes two weeks after Trump himself announced that the FBI had searched his estate in Florida, which has drawn massive attention over the past few years. previous weeks, forcing the Justice Department to take steps to make public elements of an investigation that would otherwise remain out of public view. But a key document – the search warrant affidavit – remains sealed.
The release of the affidavit, which has been requested by a number of media outlets, would likely reveal details about the circumstances of the investigation, including why law enforcement sought a search warrant for Trump’s home. in Florida and the evidence that gave them a probable reason to do so. US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart signaled last week that he was willing to release portions of the affidavit that justified the FBI search, but instructed the Justice Department to make redactions to the document that could make it meaningless to the public. This redacted version of the affidavit must be submitted to the judge by noon Thursday.