The Biden Justice Department’s case against former President Donald Trump over alleged mishandling and improper storage of classified materials likely just became even stronger this week.
Lawyers for the former president are reported to have turned over to prosecutors at least two more classified documents that had been recently discovered in a storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to the Washington Examiner.
The documents were said to have been found by an outside team hired by Trump to search the storage units — as well as his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, and Trump Tower in New York City, among other properties — in order to independently confirm that his team had fully complied with a grand jury subpoena issued in May that demanded that all documents marked classified be turned over.
Additional documents found in storage unit
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that, according to anonymous sources “familiar with the matter,” the outside team hired by Trump had discovered at least two additional documents marked as classified in the Florida storage unit and immediately turned them over to the FBI.
That unit purportedly held items that had initially been in a Northern Virginia office building used by Trump’s team during his transition out of office but had been transported, with help from the federal General Services Administration, to the Florida storage unit in July 2021.
It is unknown what, exactly, the content of those two documents is, and per the sources, the outside team hired by Trump — which was described as specializing in searching for certain documents — found nothing marked as classified in their searches of the Bedminster club, Trump Tower, or at least one other unspecified Trump-owned property.
The sources further claimed that the outside search team had offered to let the FBI observe their search for additional documents at the Trump properties but the Bureau had declined to do so, as such an arrangement would have been “unusual.”
DOJ calls for contempt charges
ABC News reported that the DOJ, in light of the revelations in the Post’s article, has now called upon a federal judge in Washington D.C. to hold Trump’s team of attorneys in contempt of court for failing to fully comply with the May subpoena for documents.
The call for contempt charges for all of Trump’s attorneys is apparently due to the fact that none of them have stepped forward to be formally identified as a custodian of the records, which could potentially open them up to legal liability.
In response to the Post’s report, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement, “President Trump and his counsel continue to cooperate and be transparent, despite the unprecedented, illegal, and unwarranted attacks by the weaponized Department of Justice.”
The hits just keep on coming
This report is just the latest in a series of bad news and setbacks for former President Trump over the past several weeks.
Politico reported on Nov. 18 that Attorney General Merrick Garland, almost immediately after Trump formally declared his 2024 candidacy, named veteran federal prosecutor Jack Smith as a special counsel to oversee the DOJ’s multiple probes into the former president.
That would include the documents marked as classified recovered during the Aug. 8 FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago as well as separate probes into Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, by way of both contacts with state-level officials and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
More recently, NBC News reported on Dec. 1 that an appeals court had overturned the favorable district court ruling for Trump in the case of the classified documents and ended the brief tenure of the court-appointed special master tasked to review the seized documents for potentially privileged materials.