FBI In The Dock In Donald Trump Classified Documents Case

Donald Trump, FBI, Classified Documents, And The Unsearched Spaces at Mar-A-Lago


In 2022, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted a search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate. The objective was to find White House classified documents that Trump had retained after his term. However, ABC News reported that the FBI did not search a locked closet and a “hidden room” during their investigation.



Discover how the FBI has landed itself in a dock in the Donald Trump Classified Documents Case, know the reasons, their commissions and omissions now



FBI - The Search and Its Findings


The FBI’s search in August 2022 resulted in the discovery of over 11,000 documents, including more than 100 classified documents. This led to Trump’s indictment for willfully retaining national defense information and obstruction, among other charges.


However, anonymous sources cited by ABC News revealed that the FBI did not search a locked closet. Trump had reportedly changed the lock on this closet months before the search. His attorney was the one who searched the property for classified documents and materials to turn over to the government in response to a subpoena.


The Missed Spaces


Investigators found the closet locked but were reportedly told that the space behind the door “went nowhere”. As a result, they decided not to try and open it. Additionally, officials were not aware of a “hidden room” in Trump’s bedroom at the time and thus did not search it.


Prosecutors questioned witnesses about these missed spaces during their investigation. ABC reported that they focused on the rooms, particularly in the three months before Trump was indicted.



The Trump Campaign’s Response


When asked about the rooms, the Trump campaign told ABC that the investigations against the ex-president are “just desperate attempts at election interference … to stop the presumptive Republican nominee for President”.



The Unknowns


It remains unclear if Trump was storing any additional White House classified documents in his closet or hidden room. It is also unknown if there are still any government materials at Mar-A-Lago or other Trump properties that haven’t been seized by the Biden administration. The Justice Department has not conducted any additional searches of Mar-A-Lago since its search in August 2022.


Criticism and Future Developments


Former federal prosecutor Jordan Strauss expressed astonishment at the fact that the FBI didn’t search the closet and hidden room. He stated, “You’re searching a former president’s house. You [should] get it right the first time”.

Trump has been recently indicted in Florida on 40 federal felony charges for unlawfully retaining White House documents and for alleged obstruction of the government’s efforts to get the documents back. Donald Trump till now has not pleaded guilty to the charges. However, the case can be expected to go to trial in May.


Additional Resources:


The Washington Post


The New York Times

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