The DOJ grew concerned after subpoenaed surveillance video revealed Trump having boxes of classified material moved after being contracted by the Justice Department.
The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room.
That activity prompted concern among investigators about the handling of the material. It is not clear when precisely the footage was from during the lengthy back-and-forth between Justice Department officials and Mr. Trump’s advisers, or whether the subpoena to Mr. Trump seeking additional documents had already been issued.
This happened as Trump claimed that he did not have any classified information in his possession. To recap, Trump claims that the FBI planted the classified documents, but video from inside Mar-a-Lago reveals that Trump was having the boxes moved after communication with the Justice Department, so the planted evidence excuse has been obliterated.
The new excuse that we can expect to hear more of in the coming days is that all of the documents were declassified by Trump. The problem is that Trump doesn’t have the power to declassify all types of documents. There are some of the highest-level secrets that any president can’t unilaterally declassify.
Plus, if Trump had issued an order declassifying the documents, there would be a paper trail. and no such order has been presented.
Even if the documents were declassified by some sort of magic spell written on the back of the original Constitution, it is still a crime for Trump to mishandle the documents.
In other words, Donald Trump has no credible excuse or defense, and he has now been caught on video moving the boxes.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association