We Believe He’s Still Hiding White House Docs

An official from the Department of Justice’s National Security Division (DOJ) informed lawyers for former President Donald Trump that it does not believe that all the documents that Trump improperly removed were recovered by the department.

According to The New York Times, this is the “most concrete indication yet” that the department remains skeptical of Trump’s claims that he has cooperatedThey will assist them in their search for the missing documents.

Jay Bratt, who leads the DOJ’s counterintelligence operations, told Trump’s legal team in recent weeks that he doesn’t believe all of the documents have been returned, despite various attempts from the DOJ and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to retrieve them.

Trump’s lawyers formed two separate camps over how to respond to Bratt’s assertion, the Times reported. One side suggested that an outside firm be hired in order to perform additional searches for documents. However, the other group of lawyers rejected this suggestion and chose to go more combative.

Bratt’s suggestion that there may be more documents in Trump’s possession comes as DOJ prosecutors have made similar claimsIn recent weeks, the discovery of empty folders marked as classified at Mar-a-LagoIn a variety of court filings. The fact that Trump could potentially have more White House documents in his possession “presents the potential for ongoing risk to national security,” the department said in court.

NARA also expressed doubts over whether all documents have been retrieved. “While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,” acting archivist Debra Steidal Wall said in a letterRep. Carolyn Maloney (D. New York), is the House Oversight Committee chair.

The DOJ hasn’t publicly explained why it believes that some of the documents still haven’t been recovered. But The timeline of events for the past two-yearsThis suggests that their suspicions may be justified.

NARA contacted Trump’s lawyers and former president for several months after Trump left office. Trump only relented after the agency threatened to bring Congress into the picture. NARA was able then to retrieve some documents from Mar-a-Lago during January of this year.

During the retrieval process, the agency found highly classified material and notified the DOJ of documents that remained at estate. The department issued a subpoena to Trump, directing him to return all classified documents and affirm that no other classified material was at Mar-a-Lago. A lawyer signed that affirmation on the former president’s behalf.

Later in the summer, DOJ received evidence that Trump had lied. Additionally, additional classified documents were being kept at Mar-a-Lago. The FBI executed a search warrant against the property in August. Discovering thousands of government documents, more than 100 of which were marked as classified.

Since the beginning of this year, federal officials have retrieved over 300 classified documents from Mar-a-Lago.