Donald Trump may have serious problems. In three attempts to recover official documents from the home of the former US president, more than 300 classified documents were seized, the New York Times reported.
The published correspondence of the National Archives with Trump’s lawyers also shows that among them were the most guarded.
The contents of the documents remain unknown, according to the NYT, and the number includes all documents obtained so far: first by voluntarily returning 15 boxes of documents in January, by a court order in June, and finally during a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August.
As the New York daily writes, the prosecution’s investigation is continuing, which is intended to suggest that investigators are not sure that all documents have been recovered. The prosecutor’s office also requested additional recordings from the monitoring of the rooms where the papers were kept, trying to determine who had access to them.
Meanwhile, the correspondence between the National Archives Administration (NARA) and Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran, published by Trump associate journalist John Solomon, shows that among the documents Trump took were those belonging to “Special Access Programs,” to which only the highest-ranking officials in the state have access. The letter suggests there were more than 100 classified documents in the boxes that Trump returned in January, more than 700 pages long.
The letter from NARA chief Debra Wall to Trump’s lawyers, dated May 10, also shows that the former president refused to hand over the documents immediately, citing the so-called a privilege of the executive, a legal custom protecting presidents’ talks and communications with their associates. However, Wall recognized – after President Joe Biden delegated a decision on the matter – that the privilege did not apply to former presidents. She added that the documents were needed, “not only necessary for the ongoing investigation”, but also to establish “potential damage resulting from the apparent manner in which these materials were stored and transported”.
The correspondence does not indicate that Trump – as he currently claims – declassified the materials before leaving the White House.