Trump told advisers last year he would return Mar-a-Lago files in exchange for “classified” documents about FBI investigation into 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia: NYT


President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he hosts Republican congressional leaders and cabinet members in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, July 20, 2020.

Then-President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he hosts Republican congressional leaders and cabinet members in the Oval Office of the White House on July 20, 2020.Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

  • According to The NYT, Trump has floated the idea of ​​swapping Mar-a-Lago boxes for documents about the Russian investigation.

  • Trump’s aides did not submit his proposal to the National Archives because they knew it would be rejected.

  • According to the paper, Trump repeatedly delayed calls from agencies to turn the boxes over.

Former President Donald Trump had the idea late last year to trade files taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago in exchange for “classified” documents about an FBI investigation into relations with Russia in the 2016 election campaign. popped up. According to the New York Times.

The former president was still scratching his head over the Russian investigation when the National Archives pressured Trump to return dozens of official documents stored at his Mar-a-Lago mansion in South Florida. However, he was dissatisfied with the government. According to The Times, his agency refused to disclose documents he felt supported his claims.

The paper reported that Trump told advisers that he would give the archives a box of documents kept at Mar-a-Lago to access the documents.

The former president’s aides did not accept the offer, one of many ways the former president repeatedly delayed calls from the archives to turn over documents in his private residence. was.

Shortly after Trump entered the White House, there was clear concern about the then-president’s tendency to bring papers into his bedroom, and about halfway through his term, he decided to keep files in residential areas of historic buildings. have been disabled, according to several patients. Knowledge of the situation told The Times.

In President Trump’s third year in office, senior White House officials found certain files in unintended locations.

After Trump left the Oval Office, Trump’s representatives were told by National Archives General Counsel Gary M. Stern to return the files to the former president in a box.

Stern, along with three attorneys employed by the White House attorney’s office, discussed the file multiple times with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Per The Times, Stern continued to ask for the missing box in September 2021, but Trump told Meadows he only had newspaper clips and other personal items.

Meadows relayed Trump’s message to former White House attorney Patrick Philbin, who passed it on to Stern.

However, the archives said even newspaper clippings and printouts of articles were considered presidential records that needed to be turned over to the agency.

Near the end of last year, former White House adviser Eric Hirschman told Trump that he could face serious legal trouble if he didn’t turn over the documents demanded from the archives, according to The Times. .

The former president agreed to look into the files in December 2021 after telling advisers that the box was “mine,” according to the newspaper. Stern was then told the box was ready to be retrieved.

According to The Times, none of Trump’s representatives informed Stern of the classified files in the box.

When the archives began to open the boxes, they realized they were browsing the files in a room unsuitable for such high-level documentation, and quickly transported the boxes to a safer zone where they could be closely examined. The paper reports. .

The FBI then executed a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago to search for classified documents Trump allegedly brought to Mar-a-Lago after he resigned in August.Ministry of Justice is investigating Whether Trump violated three federal laws Concerning the handling of sensitive information, including espionage law.

Mr. Trump has long stuck to a Justice Department investigation into his campaign ties to Russia leading up to his first presidential election.he repeats called The investigation is a “hoax” intended to damage his presidency.

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