Donald Trump did not return all the documents taken away from the White House and kept in his restort in Florida. It is the suspicion of the Justice Department expressed to the former president’s lawyers. According to the New York Times, it was the director of counterintelligence operations, Jay Bratt, who exposed the tycoon’s lawyers to doubts about Trump’s actual cooperation in the investigation. More than three hundred confidential documents were seized by the FBI during the August 8 blitz at the Mar-a-Lago resort. But there would be no trace of other documents.
The revelation comes a few weeks after the discovery of forty-eight containers of “confidential” documents found empty. Among these were folders with labels showing the presence of files intended for the staff of the secretary of defense and military advisers, and others classified as ‘top secret’. All completely empty. The New York Times does not explain whether the department’s doubts have been corroborated by new evidence, but it is possible that investigators are investigating the possibility of new searches, perhaps in other properties of the tycoon. Meanwhile, the legal battle between the US administration and Trump continues to figure out by whom and until when the recovered documents will be examined. Trump meanwhile tried to joke about it, saying that since the raid on his resort, Mar-a-Lago has become even more famous. “They advertised us for free for five billion dollars,” he said at a convention organized by Hispanic Republicans. Everyone, he added, wants to sign up for the Trump resort, where $ 200,000 for membership and an annual fee of $ 14,000 are required.
But beyond the irony, the situation appears complicated. The department’s doubts about Trump’s lack of cooperation could result in what is one of the potential charges that investigators are working on: Trump’s attempt to obstruct the investigation, a very serious federal offense. This hypothesis would have caused a crack in the defensive wall erected by the former president’s lawyers: one of the lawyers, Christopher Kise, would have proposed to hire a legal team with the task of tracing possible missing documents. The New York Times cites Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Trump’s Manhattan offices as possible places to find them. But other hard-line lawyers are pushing for Trump to keep up his defiant stance.
Kise would have been sidelined by Trump in recent weeks. A spokesperson for the tycoon, Taylor Budowich, criticized the Justice Department’s attitude. “The exploitation of the investigation – he said – and the politicization of the FBI are making the American taxpayer spend millions and millions of dollars to carry out one witch hunt after another”. But in the meantime, to corroborate the suspicions of Trump’s lack of cooperation with the investigation, there is the statement of a representative of the National Archives, who last week, during a hearing with the congressional commission, confirmed that the former president has not returned all presidential documents. For this reason, the heads of the State Archives are considering whether to launch an official action to force the tycoon to return the missing documents.