Trump and his staffers conducted a 'dress rehearsal' to move sensitive documents even after the DOJ asked for them to be returned
- Trump's staffers moved sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago one day before federal agents went to retrieve them, The Washington Post reported.
- Investigators are suspicious of the timing of the move and believe it could point to obstruction.
Two of former President Donald Trump's staffers moved sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago one day before federal officials went to the property to retrieve them.
That's according to The Washington Post, which previously reported that the boxes of documents were moved out of a storage room at Mar-a-Lago after the feds subpoenaed them last May. Officials at the National Archives and the Justice Department had requested that the documents be returned before subpoenaing them. But investigators are said to be suspicious of the specific timing of the move and believe it could to point to potential obstruction of the ongoing federal investigation into whether Trump mishandled national defense information.
The Post also reported that Trump and his advisors conducted a "dress rehearsal" to move sensitive documents before the feds subpoenaed the records. And one witness has testified to prosecutors that he moved boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago on the former president's orders.
Trump's lawyer, meanwhile, signed a statement last June saying that all the materials that had been moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left office had been returned to the federal government. But the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's property two months later and recovered 11 more sets of records with classified markings.
The DOJ's investigation into Trump's handling of government documents — spearheaded by the special counsel Jack Smith — has heated up over the last several months. The Wall Street Journal reported that investigators are almost finished getting testimony and evidence and that Smith is nearing a final decision on whether to take the extraordinary step of bringing federal criminal charges against the 45th president.
Over in Trump's camp, concerns are also brewing about a possible indictment, which could come in as little as a couple of weeks. And on Tuesday, they sent sent a letter requesting to meet with Attorney General Merrick Garland, a move some legal experts said was a telltale sign of looming charges.
"Unlike President Biden, his son Hunter, and the Biden family, President Trump is being treated unfairly," the letter said. "No President of the United States has ever, in the history of our country, been baselessly investigated in such an outrageous and unlawful fashion."
Insider has reached out to Trump's lawyer for comment on The Post's reporting.
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