Federal prosecutors have opened another investigation into former President Donald Trump, this time over classified White House documents that wound up at Trump’s home in Florida, two people familiar with the matter said, according to The New York Times on Thursday.
Investigators are working to determine if the classified files were mishandled, and have issued a subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration to obtain the files, people familiar with the situation said.
Officials also requested interviews with multiple people who worked in Trump’s White House during the end of his first term, one of the individuals added.
The probe comes after the National Archives discovered that Trump had taken 15 boxes of files from the White House to his home at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in January 2021. The boxes contained government documents, keepsakes, gifts and letters.
When the boxes were returned to the Archives, researchers found files “marked as classified national security information,” the agency told Congress earlier this year.
Investigators want to know how the documents ended up at Mar-a-Lago, who put the boxes together, how they were stored at Trump’s Florida home, and if anyone knew that the classified files were handled inappropriately, a person familiar with the matter said.
Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for former President Trump, said, “President Trump consistently handled all documents in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Belated attempts to second-guess that clear fact are politically motivated and misguided.”
This isn’t the first time former President Donald Trump has been investigated by federal authorities who sought to gain access to Trump administration documents at the National Archives. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden ordered Trump’s White House visitor logs to be turned over to the House committee investigating the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, again rejecting Trump’s claims of executive privilege.
According to a letter sent to the National Archives, White House counsel Dana Remus addressed the committee’s request that the National Archives release Trump administration data to Congress. Remus said Biden considered Trump’s claims of executive privilege, but determined that Trump’s assertion “is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified, as to these records and portions of records.”
Remus’ letter stated that the “majority of the entries over which the former President has asserted executive privilege would be publicly released under current policy.” Remus further asserted that “preserving the confidentiality of this type of record generally is not necessary to protect long-term institutional interests of the Executive Branch.”
The White House counsel also claimed that the riot was the “most serious attack” on federal government operations “since the Civil War.”