Report: US Grand Jury Has Issued a Subpoena Into Trump-Era Docs Taken to Mar-a-Lago

© AFP 2023 / SAUL LOEBIn this file photo taken on October 21, 2020 US President Donald Trump gestures at the end of a Make America Great Again rally as he campaigns in Gastonia, North Carolina
In this file photo taken on October 21, 2020 US President Donald Trump gestures at the end of a Make America Great Again rally as he campaigns in Gastonia, North Carolina - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.05.2022
At the end of his term, former President Donald Trump appeared to violate the Presidential Records Act by transferring classified documents to his residence of Mar-A-Lago, instead of turning them over to the National Archives as all presidents are required to do at the end of their term.
The Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s mishandling of White House documents is beginning to ramp up as a federal grand jury has issued at least one subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration to access classified documents that had been earlier temporarily transferred to Mar-a-Lago.
The probe could garner potential legal consequences for Trump and/or others who were involved in the mishandling of 15 boxes of government documents considering that mishandling classified documents is a federal crime. However, if the defense are able to prove relocating the boxes was a “mistake,” punishment may be trimmed down.
An anonymous source told The Washington Post that investigators have already begun interrogating former Trump White House aides about the incident, while another source said investigators were still filing requests for interviews.
“I can remember watching the Trumps leaving the White House and getting off in the helicopter that day, and someone carrying a white banker box, and saying to myself, ‘What the hell’s in that box?’” said David Ferriero, a former US archivist.
It is routine for the FBI to conduct investigations into whether or not classified information has been mishandled. The Presidential Records Act (PRA) is a 1978 law that was passed following President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. PRA now safeguards all White House documents as US government property.
This is not the first time Trump and his administration have been ridiculed for their handling of government documents. Some of the Trump White House records, which the National Archives and Records Administration gave to the January 6 committee, appeared to have been torn up and then taped back together.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman’s upcoming book “Confidence Man” alleges that Trump even flushed files down his toilet in the White House.
“We had known for several years since my colleague Annie Karni broke the story that Trump was ripping up pieces of paper and that his staff was having to tape it back together for archival purposes. This is how he has handled documents and pieces of paper all his life, in terms of ripping them up, but this was something different,” said Haberman of the toilet incident.
Trump is also under investigation in the states of Georgia and New York concerning his business practices, as well as by the House select committee who are investigating his involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
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