Two of former President Donald Trump’s employees moved boxes of papers one day before federal officials went to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and private club to collect classified documents, according tomultiple news reports.
The worker, who has not been publicly identified, saw Walt Nauta, Trump’s valet in the White House, moving boxes into a storage room, The New York Times reported, citing an unidentified source. The worker ended up helping Nauta move some of the boxes, but he didn’t know what was inside.
The maintenance worker has told federal prosecutors about the moment, according to The Times.
It would have come before senior Justice Department lawyer Jay Bratt went to Mar-a-Lago with federal agents in June 2022. FBI agents secured a court order to search Mar-a-Lago months later as well in a highly publicized incident.
Trump and aides also had a “dress rehearsal” for moving sensitive documents before his office received a subpoena last May, The Washington Post reported, citing multiple unidentified people familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors are also looking into whether Trump kept classified documents in his office and sometimes showed them to others, according to The Post.
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The reports come as Trump’s lawyers are seeking a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland about the Justice Department investigation of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago. It’s often a sign that an indictment is coming soon.
The grand jury in the investigation has not met since May 5, its longest pause since December, according to The Washington Post. That hiatus came after Garland named Jack Smith to oversee the investigation into Trump.
Smith is investigating whether the former president mishandled classified documents and whether he obstructed justice by defying a subpoena to return documents he had taken from the White House.
Trump has denied wrongdoing.
His spokesperson, Steven Cheung, told USA TODAY in a statement: ”This is nothing more than a targeted, politically motivated witch hunt against President Trump that is concocted to meddle in an election and prevent the American people from returning him to the White House.” The statement accuses the Justice Department of harassing “anyone and everyone who works, has worked, or supports President Trump.”
Contributing: David Jackson and Bart Jansen