Seemingly every day, new details emerge regarding the circumstances behind the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida that took the entire country by surprise.
According to the Washington Examiner, the latest report, published by The New York Times, revealed that Trump allegedly took several boxes of documents that were “highly classified” from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, and the National Archives says he never returned them as agreed.
The report was published by the Times on Saturday night.
The Examiner added: “Officials with the National Archives, according to the New York Times, reached out to numerous White House officials as the then-president and his team were in the midst of simultaneously fighting the 2020 election results and taking part in an orderly transition to the Biden administration.”
The key to the raid?
While many have a difficult time believing that some paperwork led to a pre-dawn FBI raid on the private residence of a former president, the Times insists in its report that the highly classified documents seems to be the crux of the issue.
The report, in a nutshell, claims that one of Trump’s lawyers had signed paperwork in June saying that the documents had been returned, as requested, but in reality, they were still being held in a basement storage area at Mar-a-Lago.
That is what reportedly led to a Grand Jury being formed, and DOJ officials would eventually file a “detailed affidavit to a federal judge in Florida, revealing that the department believed possible crimes had been committed,” the report indicated.
“Although the White House counsel’s office had told Mark Meadows…the roughly two dozen boxes…in the residence needed to be turned back to the archives, at least some of those boxes, including…documents marked highly classified, were shipped to Florida.”https://t.co/UcRP9hCT7G
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) August 20, 2022
Declassified, or not?
The next big fight, short of some other groundbreaking revelation in the affidavit that led to the raid, will likely revolve around whether or not Trump, who had the ultimate power of declassification, actually declassified the documents in question.
Trump claims he did, in fact, declassify any sensitive information. However, the DOJ doesn’t appear to buy it, and many believe that it’s only a matter of time before it formally charges Trump with a crime, possibility even charging him with a violation of the Espionage Act, according to some reports.
It’s still wholly unclear which documents, specifically, are in question, though given their sensitive nature, it’s not a stretch to presume that the American public will ever know.
But the public does deserve to know why — exactly why — the FBI was given the go-ahead to raid the home of not only a former president, but of a potential political opponent of the current administration. The situation, overall, still stinks to high Heaven.