- Donald Trump may have tried to keep documents after receiving a subpoena from DOJ.
- According to a report from the Washington Post, investigators say it could point to an obstruction.
- The evidence indicates a difference between Trump’s investigation and the one into Biden’s documents.
Donald Trump may have looked through boxes of documents in his Mar-a-Lago home after receiving a subpoena requesting their return, sources told the Washington Post.
According to unnamed sources who spoke to the Post, investigators with the Justice Department and FBI now believe they have more evidence that Trump may have obstructed the investigation after the DOJ issued a subpoena in May requesting all documents be returned.
The discovery underscores the difference between his investigation and the probe into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents, which were found in his office and home.
The evidence, based on witness statements, security camera footage, and other documents, led investigators to believe that the boxes were taken out of storage after Trump received the subpoena, according to sources who spoke with the Post. Trump then began sifting through the material to decide what he wanted to keep, investigators suspect, per the Post.
The New York Times previously reported that security footage showed a longtime Trump staffer moving boxes out of a storage room before and after the DOJ issued its subpoena in May.
In August, an FBI search found and seized more than 100 classified documents in Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida, home — months after the initial subpoena in May.
Following the discovery, special counsel Jack Smith was appointed by US Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate whether Trump mishandled classified documents and intended to obstruct the investigation into the documents.
In light of the investigation by Smith, Trump claimed that the justice system was being skewed against him.
Documents were also found at Biden’s former office in Washington in November of last year, although Biden has maintained that there was no criminal wrongdoing. Richard Sauber, the special counsel to President Biden, said the White House was cooperating with the National Archives and Records Administration and the Justice Department on the matter.
“Biden’s team did exactly what you’re supposed to do,” Bradley P. Moss, a national security lawyer, told Insider in November. “When you find improperly stored classified documents, you immediately notify the government — and you turn it over immediately.”
The DOJ also found more documents, including six with classification markings, after a search of Biden’s Delaware home in January.
In a statement to Insider, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said that the DOJ’s investigation had “no basis in fact or law” and claimed it was leaking information about the investigation to “corrupt the legal process and weaponize the justice system in order to manipulate public opinion.”
Cheung pointed to classified documents found in Biden’s home, and referenced Hillary Clinton’s 2016 email investigation.
“President Trump is the only leader fighting for the Constitution and to protect the American people from being abused by those who want to destroy our system of government,” Cheung said in the statement.
Sources also told the Post that investigators have evidence that Trump asked people around him to deceive officials looking to recover the documents at his home and consulted with lawyers on how he could keep the documents, despite being told that he could not.
Recently, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would “have the right” to take documents from the White House after Hannity said he couldn’t imagine it.
Trump then falsely claimed that the Presidential Records Act gives him “the right to take stuff” and “the right to look at stuff.”
A spokesperson for the FBI referred Insider to the DOJ. A representative for the DOJ did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.