Two places were left unchecked during the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Federal officials got wind of this revelation after receiving a tip-off from someone within the facility. Now, prosecutors believe those two unsearched areas could have contained highly incriminating classified documents.
Jack Smith, the special counsel in charge of the case against Trump, has interviewed key witnesses connected to the search. Smith is trying to find out if there could be more documents in Trump’s palatial Florida residence.
Trump ran into trouble after federal agents executed a search warrant on his property in 2022. The search revealed that he had stuffed a large cache of classified documents from the White House.
The discovery made the leading headlines for many weeks. Plus, it has led to a potentially dangerous lawsuit against the billionaire. Trump is seeking a second stint in the Oval Office. But the case has formed a dark cloud over his aspirations.
The recent development involving an alleged move to conceal evidence from investigators could worsen an already bad situation. Some investigators who participated in the search have regretted not searching a locked closet in the former President’s mansion.
There are allegations that Trump directed one of his staff to change the closet’s locks while his lawyer searched for the documents in the basement. A former maintenance worker has described Trump’s request as “unusual.”
Trump and his lawyer were trying to tender the classified documents in compliance with a federal subpoena. The report disclosed that Trump had told his lawyer that all the documents were in the basement.
Agents couldn’t access the space because they didn’t have the key. Reports also say that Trump staff told agents that the closet door led to nowhere.
Smith is trying to prove that Trump tried to conceal the documents even from his lawyer. If Smith can prove this allegation, it could be a huge deciding factor in where judgment could go.
Jordan Strauss, a former prosecutor and senior staff member at the Justice Department, expressed disappointment at the FBI’s conduct. He described the FBI’s failure to break into the locked closet as a “bit astonishing.” The bureau’s agents have a reputation for thoroughness in search operations.
“You are searching a former President’s house, you get it right the first time,” Strauss told reporters. The report said the agents failed to search a “hidden room,” which was behind a dresser and a TV in Trump’s bedroom.
Investigators say they didn’t bother searching the space as they focused on areas of the home that they believed may have contained the government documents. Investigators searched areas based on “information gathered throughout the course of the investigation.”
“Discussions took place that day about additional areas of the property, and it was determined that actions already taken met the parameters of the search warrant,” the investigator said.
The Trump campaign has repeatedly called the investigation and trial a “witch-hunt” by the Biden administration. “These Crooked Joe Biden-directed Witch Hunts, assisted by fake news mainstream media, are just desperate attempts at election interference,” said Steven Cheung, campaign spokesperson.
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