A federal judge Wednesday filed an affidavit used by the FBI last summer to obtain a search warrant for classified documents at former President Donald J. Trump’s private club and residence, Mar-a-Lago, in Florida. Unpacked the add-on and revealed some content. New details about how the anomalous process unfolded.
A freshly unredacted portion of the affidavit suggests that prosecutors base their investigation on surveillance footage from cameras near Mar-a-Lago’s basement vaults, citing Trump’s Personal aide Walt Nauta was shown moving dozens of people. How many boxes went in and out of the room days before federal prosecutors arrived to collect classified records still in Trump’s possession.
Much of the affidavit, which was unsealed on Wednesday, had already been published in newspapers. Major indictments against Trump and Nauta Published in Miami last month. The indictment charged the former president with 31 counts of illegally retaining defense information and another count of conspiring with Nauta to thwart government efforts to regain defense information.
The judge who ordered the opening, Bruce E. Reinhardt, had previously issued two orders to open separate parts of the warrant affidavit at the request of the media.
Newly uncovered information included photographs of dozens of boxes in the Mar-a-Lago storage room and detailed descriptions of different angles captured by surveillance cameras outside the room.
The FBI agent who drafted the affidavit wrote, “The vault door was painted gold and there were no other marks on it.” “The door to the storage room is in the middle of the wall and is accessed by climbing a few wooden stairs.”
Reflecting the indictment, the unredacted affidavit states that between May 24 and June 1, 2022, Nauta removed 64 boxes from Mar-a-Lago storage. However, it is recorded that only 25 or 30 of them were returned.
The affidavit states, “The current location of the box, which was removed from the vault but not returned, is unknown.”
But a newly released affidavit shows that federal prosecutors believe classified records remain at Mar-a-Lago despite two previous attempts to retrieve them from Trump. All the reasons for this have not been clarified.
In January 2022, Trump sent 15 boxes of government records from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives, which turned out to contain nearly 200 classified documents. In May, federal prosecutors issued a subpoena seeking additional confidential-marked documents still in Trump’s possession. In June 2022, after conducting an intense Mar-a-Lago investigation, one of the former president’s lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran, handed over 38 more classified documents to the government.
But even after the first two sets of documents were returned, prosecutors suspected Trump was keeping even more classified material in the Mar-a-Lago mansion and adjacent areas. Nauta’s surveillance footage was apparently just one piece of evidence to support that belief. A lengthy portion of the affidavit following the prosecution’s allegations that Mr. Trump failed to return everything he should have remained sealed.
It was Judge Reinhardt Mar-a-Lago search warrant issued last AugustAs a result, federal agents took away more than 100 documents with classification marks.
Judge Reinhart was also appointed as the judge in charge of the prosecution of Mr. Trump and Mr. Nauta. Nauta is scheduled to be arraigned in federal district court in Miami on Thursday.
Among new details revealed on Wednesday, both Corcoran and another attorney for Trump said the former president had declassified one of 38 classified documents handed over to him last June, prosecutors said. It contains things that weren’t talked about. The omission appears to contradict previous statements made by the attorneys to the government, claiming that as president Trump has “absolute authority” to declassify any material he desires.
The newly unredacted portion of the affidavit also states that Corcoran told the government that he was informed that no classified records existed “in private office space in Mar-a-Lago or elsewhere.” It is Real estate turned out to be false.
In March, a federal judge in Washington coerced Mr. Corcoran She believed that Mr. Trump had misled Mr. Corcoran about the location of Mar-a-Lago’s classified records, so she circumvented the usual protections of attorney-client privilege and asked a grand jury investigating the case. I was asked to provide records and testify.