The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly searching for security camera footage of Mar-a-Lago two weeks after federal agents searched the home of former President Donald Trump.
Federal authorities have seized more than 300 classified documents from Trump since January, including a significant number recovered during the March 8 raid, according to a report Monday The New York Times. The DOJ acquired surveillance camera footage from Trump’s South Florida residence on June 22 and is now looking for footage from the weeks leading up to the FBI raid, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.
Trump has also reportedly considered releasing footage taken during the raid itself. The former president’s son, Eric Trump, says Aug. 8 footage captured federal agents in parts of Mar-a-Lago they were not authorized to search after unsuccessfully asking for the cameras to be turned off.
The former president has hinted that agents may have “placed” evidence during the raid. Trump’s former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham has argued that he doesn’t actually want the surveillance footage released, telling CNN’s Erin Burnett last week that the footage would have already been released had he wanted it is published.
Footage captured in Mar-a-Lago back in late April has reportedly “raised concern among investigators” as it captured people moving boxes through hallways and possibly shipping containers where documents were kept The search warrant used in the FBI raid was reportedly approved in part based on the footage, along with witness interviews.
Additional footage is being sought because DOJ investigators are unsure they have found any classified materials Trump may have taken when he left the White House in January 2021.
Federal agents took 26 boxes after searching Trump’s home, including 11 boxes containing documents marked secret or “top secret.” Trump has argued that he had a “standing order” to release any documents he took just before leaving office.
However, no further evidence of Trump’s order was presented, and some of the documents reportedly contained nuclear secrets that the presidents cannot unilaterally release. In addition, the three federal laws mentioned in the search warrant – including the Espionage Act – do not necessarily depend on the classified status of the documents.
Under the Presidential Records Act, Trump was required to turn over all official documents to the National Archives after leaving office. Trump officials were reportedly contacted by the archives and asked to facilitate the return of documents after President Joe Biden took office. However, they were rebuffed by Trump, who referred to the boxes of documents as “mine,” said three advisers familiar with his comments Times.
Trump reportedly turned over a number of sensitive documents to DOJ officials who visited Mar-a-Lago in early June. Around the same time, former president’s attorney Christina Bobb, the “custodian of the documents,” also signed a statement declaring that all remaining classified documents “had been returned,” two people familiar with the statement reportedly said .
news week has reached out to Trump’s office for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/doj-wants-mar-lago-footage-trump-considers-making-raid-tapes-public-1735868 DOJ wants footage of Mar-a-Lago as Trump considers releasing raids