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FBI steps in to investigate how Trump took 15 boxes of official documents – including ‘top secret’ files – from the White House to Mar-a-Lago when he left office
- The FBI is in the preliminary stages of a probe into the handling of classified materials that were in the 15 boxes of material that were moved to Mar-a-Lago
- The investigation is in its infancy and was triggered by the discovery of ‘top secret’ information found in the boxes recovered from Florida in January
- The House Oversight Committee had already started investigating former President Donald Trump’s handling of these materials
- On Thursday, Oversight Committee chair Carolyn Maloney blasted Attorney General Merrick Garland for ‘obstructing’ Congress’ probe
- The Oversight Committee was given no explanation when denied an accounting from the National Archives of the contents of the boxes
- The New York Times reported that this suggested that a criminal probe was afoot
- The Times also reported that Trump would not likely be an official target of the FBI-led investigation
The FBI is in the preliminary stages of an investigation into the handling of classified materials that were in the 15 boxes of material that were moved to Mar-a-Lago from former President Donald Trump’s White House.
The New York Times and Washington Post reported Thursday that the probe was in its infancy and was triggered by the discovery of ‘top secret’ information found in the boxes filled with documents and momentos from Trump’s four years in office.
In January, the National Archives and Records Administration recovered the 15 boxes from Trump’s Florida estate, disclosing the move publicly in February, noting that the contents should have been handed over to the National Archives as required by the Presidential Records Act.
The FBI is in the preliminary stages of an investigation into the handling of classified materials that were in the 15 boxes of material that were moved to Mar-a-Lago from former President Donald Trump’s White House
A moving van was parked outside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on January 14, 2021, just days before former President Donald Trump left office. Boxes and materials were seen being loaded into the van
That announcement triggered an investigation by the House Oversight Committee.
However, now the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee is complaining that the Justice Department told the National Archives not to share requested information with Congress, which the Times reported was evidence that a federal criminal investigation could be underway.
On Thursday, House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland pointing out that the National Archives wouldn’t release the contents of the 15 boxes of materials recovered from Mar-a-Lago.
She accused the DOJ of ‘obstructing’ the Congressional investigation.
‘The Committee does not wish to interfere in any manner with any potential or ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice,’ Maloney wrote. ‘However, the Committee has not received any explanation as to why the Department is preventing NARA from providing information to the Committee that relates to compliance with the [Presidential Records Act], including unclassified information describing the contents of the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago.’
In January, the National Archives and Records Administration recovered the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago (pictured) disclosing the move publicly in February, noting that the contents should have been handed over to the agency not taken to Florida
Maloney’s letter said that on March 28, NARA wrote: ‘With respect to your request for information about the contents of the 15 boxes that NARA received from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence or about any reviews conducted by other federal agencies, based on our consultation with the Department of Justice, we are unable to provide any comment.’
Beyond the contents of the boxes, one of the allegations lawmakers are looking into was whether torn up papers were found flushed down the toilets of the White House, including in the residence.
New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman shared part of her forthcoming Trump book, Confidence Man, with Axios in February, writing that White House residence staff would periodically discover wads of printed paper clogging a toilet.
They believed the president was responsible for flushing it down.
It’s unclear what role Trump played in removing the materials from the White House.
The Times reported that the ex-president would not likely be the target of the FBI-led investigation – similar to how Hillary Clinton was not the target of the investigation into the handling of classified material on her private email server from her time serving as secretary of State.
Trump brought up Clinton’s email scandal all the time on the campaign trail in 2016.
‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,’ Trump famously said at a July 2016 news conference.
The Trump campaign was also in the crosshairs of the FBI at the time – though it was only disclosed after the election – over whether they colluded with Russia, a country that meddled in the 2016 race.