Between the January 6 Capitol attack, challenges to the 2020 election, and his impending second impeachment, President Donald Trump had some chaotic final days in office.
Amid the chaos and the understanding that every election challenge was failing, Trump gave orders to aides to pack up documents he planned to take with him to Mar-a-Lago, according to an NBC News report published Saturday.
Two informed individuals told the publication that Trump’s staff was rapidly packing papers and other items into banker boxes that were then delivered to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach club and residence.
One source said Trump only seriously began making plans to leave the White House after January 6, his final two weeks in office, after months of baselessly claiming he had won the election.
“It was a chaotic exit,” the source told NBC. “Everyone piled everything — staff, the White House movers — into the moving trucks. When they got to Mar-a-Lago, they piled everything there in this storage room, except for things like the first lady’s clothes. Everything in a box went there.”
The source said Trump was in a “dark place” at the time and that “he didn’t care about the boxes,” adding: “If you had brought him into that storeroom, and asked, ‘Which are your presidential papers?’ he couldn’t tell you.”
According to court records that were unsealed on Friday, FBI investigators searched Mar-a-Lago on Monday and collected 11 boxes of sensitive information, some of which were marked “top secret.” The Justice Department’s investigation into alleged violations of three statutes governing the management of government records, including a provision of the Espionage Act, included the raid.
As per Msn, Trump has denied all wrongdoing and said he declassified every document at Mar-a-Lago, but he hasn’t provided any proof of that assertion.
One of Trump’s attorneys reportedly informed the Justice Department in June that all classified documents had been returned, according to a Saturday New York Times report.
However, considering that more classified documents were found on Monday, the story called into question how open and forthcoming the former president and his staff had been with investigators.
Trump’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Trump gained a reputation for treating presidential records, which are required by law to be retained, carelessly throughout his four years in office. Reports have said Trump would rip up papers or even flush them down the toilet. Some of his former staff members also said he would ask to keep certain documents.