Report: Trump was Warned About Keeping Classified Documents

    Report: Trump was Warned About Keeping Classified Documents
    Last updated May 22, 2023
    Image credit: Jud McCranie [via Wikimedia Commons]


    • As special prosecutor Jack Smith investigates why former Pres. Donald Trump didn’t comply with a subpoena related to classified documents, a new report claims he was warned by Evan Corcoran, his lawyer, about keeping classified documents that had been subpoenaed for return last year.[1]
    • Corcoran reportedly preserved around 50 pages of contemporaneous notes regarding his warning, information on how Trump and his valet arranged to have boxes moved between rooms at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, and how he had advanced knowledge of where Corcoran would be searching for documents.[1]
    • Corcoran last June returned around 40 documents he found in the storage room and told the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) there were no more classified materials on the property. The FBI later returned to Mar-a-Lago and seized more than 100 more documents.[1]
    • These notes became accessible to prosecutors after a Washington grand jury ruled that Trump might’ve used Corcoran’s legal advice to commit a crime, ending attorney-client privilege in the case.[1]
    • In addition, the National Archives last week reportedly sent Trump a letter detailing materials it possesses showing the former president and his advisers knew the correct declassification process. Those records are being passed on to Smith.[2]
    • In response to recent news, and statements made by several former members of his administration, Trump posted on social media a message denying he did anything wrong and pointing out that Pres. Joe Biden is also being investigated over documents he possessed after he served as vice president.[3]


    Anti-Trump narrative

    These notes are a big problem for the former president because they show how he and others around him were obstructing the government’s attempt to retrieve the documents. It’s frankly senseless that they were coordinating to move these boxes around and playing a shell game with the DOJ – considering there was no way they were going to get away with it.

    Pro-Trump narrative

    The continued targeting of Trump over this is ridiculous. Currently, there’s another special counsel investigating Biden’s possession of classified documents from when he was vice president, and former VP Mike Pence also faced a document controversy. In fact, every president since Reagan has been found to possess classified documents, yet none of these other former officials are being attacked and investigated like Trump.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 37% chance that any US court will rule that Donald J Trump is disqualified from holding the presidency before January 20, 2025, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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