DOJ: Evidence of efforts to obstruct probe of docs at Mar-a-Lago

In a court filing Tuesday night, the Justice Department said “government records were likely concealed and removed from a storage room in Mar-a-Lago.”

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Tuesday it uncovered efforts to obstruct its investigation into the discovery of classified documents at Donald Trump’s Florida estate, saying “government records were likely hidden and removed from a storage room,” even after the former president’s officials Officials had assured that they had thoroughly searched the property.

The FBI also seized 33 boxes containing more than 100 classified records during its Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago and found three classified documents hidden in office drawers, according to a filing containing the most detailed chronology yet of tainted interactions between Justice Department officials and Trump officials on the discovery of government secrets.

Tuesday night’s file included a photo showing the covers of some isolated classified information—some marked “TOP SECRET//SCI” with bright yellow borders and one marked “SECRET//SCI” with a rust-colored border — tied together in paperclips white-sided spread out on a carpet in Mar-a-Lago. Next to it is a box full of gold-framed pictures, including a cover of Time Magazine.

The file offers another clue to the sheer volume of classified records retrieved from Mar-a-Lago. It shows how investigators conducting a criminal investigation have focused not only on why the records were improperly stored there, but also on whether the Trump team intentionally leaked them about the continued and unlawful presence of government secrets in the misled.

The document reveals new details about events last May and June, when FBI and Justice Department officials issued a subpoena for the missing papers and then visited a storage room in Mar-a-Lago that contained top-secret documents and other information.

During that June visit, the document said, Trump’s attorneys told investigators that all of the records that came out of the White House were kept in one location — a storage room in Mar-a-Lago — and that “no other.” Records were kept in private office space or elsewhere on the premises and that all available boxes were searched.”

However, the Justice Department subsequently developed “evidence that government records were likely hidden and removed from storage and that efforts were likely made to obstruct the government investigation.”

During their search earlier this month, agents found classified documents in both the storage room and the former president’s office, including three classified documents found not in boxes but on office tables.

The filing responds to a request from the Trump legal team for a special foreman to review documents seized during the Aug. 8 raid of Mar-a-Lago. US District Judge Aileen Cannon is scheduled to hear arguments in the matter.

Trump’s attorneys last week asked for the appointment of a special master who would be tasked with reviewing recorded records and setting aside documents protected by claims of legal privilege. Cannon said Saturday it was their “tentative intention” to appoint such a person, but also gave the Justice Department an opportunity to respond.

On Monday, the department said it had already completed its review of potentially privileged documents and identified a “limited set of materials that may contain confidential information of attorneys and clients.”

In a separate development, the Trump legal team has added another attorney. Chris Kise, Florida’s former attorney general, has joined the team of attorneys representing Trump, according to two people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to discuss the move by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. Kise did not respond with a request for comment. DOJ: Evidence of efforts to obstruct probe of docs at Mar-a-Lago

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