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Donald Trump left classified documents scattered across his bathroom and the Mar-a-Lago ballroom and bragged to aides about taking military secrets, according to the stunning indictment unsealed by the Department of Justice on Friday.
Extraordinary new photos revealed in the damning filing lay out how Trump valet Walt Nauta walked into a storage room and found intelligence files on allies including the United Kingdom and Australia spilled on the floor.
There are also multiple instances where Trump suggested it would be ‘better’ if the classified documents weren’t in Mar-a-Lago and even hinted to attorneys they should remove them.
It also includes the full conversation he had with the publisher of ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows’ book where he admitted that he didn’t declassify documents on a military attack.
The former president has been hit with a total of 37 charges for his handling of classified documents, including 31 counts of Wilful Retention of National Defense Information under the Espionage Act. He will appear in a Miami court on Tuesday afternoon and has already said he will plead not guilty.
The remarkable takeaways from the unprecedented court filing include:
- Trump made a ‘plucking’ notion to his attorney to remove ‘bad’ files
- ‘Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything here?’ Trump told his legal team when discussing the Department of Justice investigation.
- ‘Did you find anything?… Is it bad? Good?’, Trump told an attorney after a search of a storage room
- He bragged about not de-classifying and keeping a file on a military attack
- Walt Nauta lied to the FBI when he said he didn’t know about the classified documents
Donald Trump left classified documents scattered across his bathroom and the Mar-a-Lago ballroom and bragged to aides about taking military secrets, according to the stunning indictment unsealed by the Department of Justice on Friday
After the indictment was unsealed, Trump went on Truth Social to call Special Counsel Jack Smith a ‘deranged “psycho” that shouldn’t be involved in any case having to do with “Justice,” other than to look at Biden as a criminal, which he is!’
‘Biden moved his Boxes all over the place, including to Chinatown and up to his lawyer’s office in Boston,’ Trump added in another post.
‘Why isn’t deranged Jack Smith looking at that? Also, I supplied them openly, and without question, security tape from Mar-a-Lago. I had nothing to hide, nor do I now. Nobody said I wasn’t allowed to look at the personal records that I brought with me from the White House. There’s nothing wrong with that…. ‘
‘The unauthorized disclosure of the material ‘could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety of the United States military, and human sources and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods,’ according to the indictment.
The feds says Trump ’caused’ scores of boxes, including those with classified information, to be transported to his home at Mar-a-Lago, a private club in West Palm Beach.
The documents note in dry language that Mar-a-Lago – an ‘active social club’ – was ‘not an authorized location for the storage, possession, review, display’ or discussion of classified documents.
The indictment references a previously reported event from July 2021 at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club where he described and showed a document about a ‘plan of attack’ that he said was prepared by the Pentagon. That appeared to be a reported document about U.S. attack plan off the shelf for Iran that Trump used to try to disparage Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, whom he said had drawn it up.
It also says in September 2021 Trump showed a representative of his PAC, also at Bedminster, a classified map about an unidentified ‘military operation.’ He told the representative that he should not be showing it – language suggestion prosecutors could use to try to establish consciousness of guilt.
The indictment was unsealed shortly after news broke that former ‘bodyman’ and aide Walt Nauta was also being indicted, and both men’s name are listed on the charging document.
The document mentions the grand jury subpoena for information from March 2022 requiring the return of documents, and says Trump ‘endeavored to obstruct the FBI and grand jury investigations and conceal his continued retention of classified documents.’
The charging document contains black and white images of boxes of documents stored at Mar-a-Lago
Documents got moved from the building’s business center to a bathroom and shower in MAL’s Lake Room, employees told the feds
On June 24, 2021, boxes were moved from the Lake Room to the infamous Storage Room, where DOJ officials would ultimately ask Trump to put on a new lock
It provides new information about a months-long dispute with National Archives officials as they sought to bring about the return of government documents.
The indictment reveals Trump looked through several boxes of documents before they were returned to the National Archives – and he did so with the aid of Nauta.
Between November 2021 and January 2022, Nauta and another employee brought boxes of documents to Trump’s residence in the social club and sent the former president a photo to confirm they there, the indictment revealed.
Nauta told the employee that Trump was “working” on the boxes. There were reports the former president went through the material before it was sent to the National Archives.
The indictment includes several text messages between Nauta and another employee about moving various boxes to the residence for Trump.
On January 17, 2022 Nauta returned 15 boxes to the archives.
The indictment charges Nauta with making false statements to investigators, where he had denied moving the boxes.
It says Trump directed Nauta to move boxes of documents ‘to conceal them from Trump’s attorney, the FBI, and the grand jury,’ and that Trump suggested his attorney ‘falsely represent’ to the FBI that Trump didn’t have documents to comply with the subpoena.
That comes after Special Counsel Jack Smith’s lawyers persuaded a judge to to compel Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify by citing the crime-fraud exception.
He also provided the FBI ‘just some of the documents’ and said he caused a certification falsely representing all documents had been produced.
The indictment names Nauta as a co-conspirator, noting that he served as Trump’s Navy valet as president, then went on to become his aide when he left the White House.
The grainy black and white images, which appear to be from security cameras, retrace the long journey from room to room that the documents took.
One shows architectural details of the White and Gold Ballroom, along with banker’s boxes of material. Documents got moved from the building’s business center to a bathroom and shower in MAL’s Lake Room, employees told the feds.
On December 7, 2021 – Pearl Harbor Day – Nauta ‘found several of Trump’s boxes fallen and their contents spilled onto the floor of the Storage Room, including a document marked ‘SECRET//REL TO USA, FVEY,’ according to the indictment.
That signified it could be released only to Five Eyes intel alliance nations including the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Even if Nauta holds firm and never becomes a cooperating witness, DOJ has already obtained language from him in digital format.
‘I opened the door and found this …’ he texted ‘Trump Employee 2,’ sending an image with documents spewed on the floor with ‘visible classified information redacted.’
‘Trump’s unlawful retention of this document is charged in Count 8 of this Indictment.’
A photo of documents seized during the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago was published by the Justice Department
The indictment includes a transcript of a recording where Trump claims to brandish secret information at his Bedminster golf clut
‘See as president I could have declassified it,’ Trump says on the tape – apparently contradicting his claim that could classify information just by thinking about it and giving prosecutors material to hash out in court
Those designations provide a detailed counterpoint to some of the earliest clues about what the FBI uncovered at Mar-a-Lago, with descriptions to a special master revealing personal items, clothing, and even personal medical records were there. One image prosecutors revealed amid the legal slog even revealed a box filled with Time Magazine covers of Trump.
The indictments details conversations between Trump and his attorneys about the subpoena. It also reveals Nauta moved over 100 boxes from storage to the former president’s private rooms.
After the grand jury issued its subpoena on May 11th, Trump met with his attorneys and told them ‘I don’t really want anyone looking through my boxes.’
He also asked ‘what happens if we just don’t respond or just don’t play ball with them?’
‘Wouldn’t it be better if we just told them we don’t have anything here,’ Trump asked his attorneys, per the indictment.
After that meeting with his attorneys, Nauta, at Trump’s direction, moved 63 boxes from the storage area to Trump’s residence in his Palm Beach social club. A few days later he moved 50 more.
On June 2, on the day Trump attorney 1 was scheduled to review boxes in the storage room, Trump and Nauta spoke on the phone. Nauta moved about 30 boxes to the residence.
Later that after Trump attorney 1 went through the boxes and removed 38 documents with classified markings. The attorney contacted the FBI to turn them over – in compliance with the subpoena.
The attorneys told the FBI a ‘diligent search’ was conducted and all documents were turned over. The indictment charges ‘this was false.’