Justice Dept. Has New Evidence of Potential Trump Obstruction in Classified Docs Case: Report
More possible bad news for Donald Trump. Fresh evidence obtained by the Department of Justice points to the former president potentially obstructing justice in the case investigating his mishandling of classified documents, The Washington Post reported.
Per Post sources familiar with Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation, the new evidence comes from after May 2022, which is when Trump’s advisers received a subpoena demanding all classified documents in the former president’s possession be returned to the government. Federal investigators have obtained what the paper called “new and significant evidence” that suggests Trump rifled through some of the boxes containing the documents in question after receiving the subpoena, apparently in an attempt to hold on to certain items, the paper reported Sunday. If true, that could point to obstruction of justice. In a filing last August, the Justice Department concluded “that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”
This new evidence includes witness statements, footage from security cameras, as well as other documentary evidence that show the boxes were taken from storage at Mar-a-Lago after Trump’s team received the subpoena, the Post reported. Investigators are also examining email and text message records from former Trump staff to learn what occurred last year in relation to the classified documents case. Last month, the Justice Department subpoenaed more than two dozen Mar-a-Lago employees, calling them to testify before a grand jury.
In a written statement to the paper, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung echoed Trump’s favored line by calling the investigation a witch-hunt. “The witch-hunts against President Trump have no basis in facts or law,” Cheung said. “The deranged special counsel and the DoJ have now resorted to prosecutorial misconduct by illegally leaking information to corrupt the legal process and weaponize the justice system in order to manipulate public opinion and conduct election interference, because they are clearly losing all across the board.”
Trump faces a number of legal concerns, including a recent indictment in New York linked to alleged hush money payments to women Trump had an affair with while he was married, an investigation into alleged election meddling in Georgia, and two Department of Justice investigations — one around his mishandling of classified documents and another that is examining his actions around the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.