Sources have recently confirmed to CNN that federal authorities who are currently investigating scandal-ridden former President Donald Trump in relation to the stolen government documents case are now inclined to believe that the disgraced ex-president is playing a “shell game with classified documents,” following the bombshell development regarding a box of classified documents that was discovered at Donald’s Palm Beach estate turned post-White House home in December, months after multiple rounds of federal search and seizures at the property, in which this specific box never turned up.
In what serves as the latest breaking development is a series of discoveries and revelations by CNN with regard to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s DOJ investigations into Donald Trump, news broke that a suspicious box of classified documents was found and recovered from “a Mar-a-Lago bridal suite that is now Trump’s office” in December, despite the fact that the discovery was made at “the very place that the FBI had searched just weeks earlier.”
CNN’s Katelyn Polantz, Paula Reid, and Jeremy Herb break down the chain of events and the long, strange journey of the mysterious box that somehow managed to evade federal authorities across the span of multiple Mar-a-Lago searches by both federal authorities and Trump aides, only to make a surprise appearance late last year.
Key highlights of CNN’s reporting on the matter, as noted by Mediaite:
- “Investigators working for special counsel Jack Smith in recent weeks have interviewed a Trump aide who copied classified materials found in the box using her phone to put them onto a laptop. After a voluntary interview with the aide, prosecutors subpoenaed the password to the laptop, which she provided, according to one of the sources.”
- “People familiar with the Trump legal team’s efforts to locate documents describe a confusing chain of events that delayed discovery of the box, including having its contents uploaded to the cloud, emailed to a Trump employee, and moved to an offsite location before finally ending up back at a Mar-a-Lago bridal suite that is now Trump’s office – the very place that the FBI had searched just weeks earlier.”
- “One person who described the box’s movements and the special counsel’s inquiry into it described federal investigators as suspecting a ‘shell game with classified documents.’ The person said Trump’s daily movements and instructions to staff are a core part of prosecutors’ questions as well.”
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Things get more interesting still as people begin to wonder and speculate on the identity of the inside sources involved in these developments.
Mediaite further notes that Trump attorney Tim Parlatore addressed this box several weeks ago, reporting the following transcript:
REID: As you just heard, CNN and other outlets reporting that you handed over additional materials, pages with classified markings, a laptop, and a thumb drive over to investigators. Tim, Trump has been out of office for two years. Why do classified materials keep showing up?
PARLATORE: You know, what has happened here that you’ve seen here and also in the Biden and Pence investigations is that the White House does not have proper procedures for handling classified information. And these documents, when they get backed up and sent out when people leave office, they do keep showing up, if you will.
We conducted a search back in December, which is where we found these documents. And we turned them over immediately. These were not turned over last week, although, you know, the DOJ leaked it last week. This was turned over back in December. And so, we have gone through, we’ve tried to work with the DOJ. We’ve tried to do searches of all of the relevant places. And anytime we’ve found anything, we’ve immediately turned it over.
REID: And as we understand it, the laptop that was handed over, it had scanned copies of some of the pages that were handed over. We’ve learned that this, the laptop belonged to an aide from the Save America PAC. So, why would someone from a PAC have access to classified materials?
PARLATORE: She was working as an aide to the president. And this is a box that had all of his daily schedules from his time in office. And she scanned all of those as part of, you know, being available for future speeches or biographies or things like that. And after we did the search in December and we found that within this box of thousands that there were a couple of pages that had a little marking at the bottom, which we turned over.
After that, we found out that she had scanned the box so that it would be digitized. She had no idea that there were any classification markings on anything. And as soon as we found out about that, we called up DOJ to let them know. And immediately provided them access to it.”
Featured image via Flickr/Trump White House Archives