Trump Aide Unwittingly Copies Classified Pages to Laptop, Report Says
Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys turned over more documents marked classified to federal prosecutors in December and January, CNN reports, as an investigation into whether Trump mishandled sensitive government records trudges ahead.
In December, Trump’s legal team found pages marked classified while going through boxes at his Mar-a-Lago residence, per the report. While his lawyers handed the material over to the Justice Department, a Trump aide (who works for Save America PAC) had previously copied those same pages onto a laptop and thumb drive—the aide reportedly did not realize they were classified. In January, the laptop, which belonged to the aide, and the thumb drive were handed over to investigators.
Among the previously undisclosed handovers was an empty folder marked “Classified Evening Briefing,” sources told CNN.
Special counsel Jack Smith was appointed to the position in November by Attorney General Merrick Garland to determine whether criminal charges stemming from Justice Department investigations should be brought against Donald Trump. At the time, Garland announced that Smith will “conduct the investigation involving classified documents and other presidential records as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation.”
More classified material was revealed during a search of former Vice President Mike Pence’s home earlier on Friday. The search came after an aide found around a dozen classified documents in the Indiana home of the former vice president last month.
Classified records were also recently found in the home and former office of President Joe Biden. The search was conducted with the president’s “full support and cooperation,” according to his attorney Bob Bauer, and didn’t yield any new material.
In August, the Justice Department August retrieved thousands of documents from Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago, including troves of classified and top-secret material. Trump claimed that some documents seized by the Department of Justice from his Mar-a-Lago estate are both personal property and subject to executive privilege, an argument the Justice Department said Trump “cannot logically assert,” according to a report from The New York Times.
Pence recently received a subpoena by Smith, who is also investigating Trump and his role in Jan. 6, 2021 after losing his bid for re-election.