The Justice Department has gathered new evidence in its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s removal of classified documents from the White House that may point to possible obstruction, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
Sources familiar with the matter told the newspaper investigators are homing in on whether Trump attempted to impede the government’s efforts to recover sensitive documents from his Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida, or if he directed anyone to do so on his behalf.
The Post reported federal investigators have gathered evidence that Trump might have sifted through boxes of documents after he received a subpoena to return them, possibly to keep some of the files despite the order.
As part of the probe, the government has also obtained the emails and text messages of Molly Michael, a former assistant who worked for Trump in the White House and at Mar-a-Lago during the documents episode.
Any case would hinge on investigators proving Trump intended to impede or obstruct the subpoena, which could prove difficult. The Post added the government has evidence the former president asked his lawyers for advice on how to keep the records he had in his possession, which could demonstrate his intent to do so.
A Trump spokesman told the publication the ongoing investigation has “no basis in facts or law.”
“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,” the spokesman, Steven Cheung, said in a statement.
The saga over the classified material continued for a year after the National Archives discovered Trump had taken some records to Florida, against federal law. He eventually turned over 15 boxes of documents, including 184 classified files, itself a shocking episode for a former president.
But investigators believed he had kept more in secret.
His advisers eventually turned over 38 other classified documents, but reviews of security footage at Mar-a-Lago led to the FBI’s surprise raid on the compound last August, where more than 100 other classified files were discovered.
Trump is already facing legal peril from multiple fronts. The former president was indicted last week in Manhattan for his role in a $130,000 hush money scheme to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He will be arraigned this week and the criminal charges made public. Trump also faces inquiries into his effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.