- The FBI found 11 boxes of classified documents during its raid at Mar-a-Lago on Monday.
- A Trump lawyer told the Justice Department in June that there was no classified material at the property, The New York Times reported.
- The report offers new details about what led to the unprecedented step of Mar-a-Lago’s search.
A lawyer for former President Donald Trump signed a statement in June telling the Justice Department that all classified material had been returned — but the FBI found more during its search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday.
That’s according to The New York Times, which first reported on the written statement on Saturday, citing four people familiar with the document. The statement was provided to the Justice Department after a counterintelligence official visited Mar-a-Lago on June 3, the newspaper reported.
But court records made public Friday showed the FBI found 11 boxes of classified data from Mar-a-Lago during Monday’s search, including some that were labeled “top secret” and intended to be stored at facilities special government. Trump has denied wrongdoing and has claimed to have declassified all documents, but has provided no documentation of this.
The June statement signed by Trump’s lawyer, and the subsequent recovery of additional classified material, may cast doubt on Trump’s claims that he and his legal team were fully cooperating with the Justice Department’s investigation before the raid.
Accusations by Trump and his allies that the raid was politically motivated prompted the attorney general to move to make the search warrant public. Court documents revealed that the Justice Department was investigating possible violations of three laws related to the handling of government documents, including part of the Espionage Act.
Republican lawmakers have continued to seek further explanations about what prompted the raid. The written statement reported by the Times provides additional insight into the events that led to the Justice Department taking such an unprecedented step.
Trump’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich denied reporting the lawyer’s statement in June.
“Like every witch hunt fabricated by Democrats before, the water of this unprecedented and unnecessary raid is being carried by a media ready to run with suggestive leaks, anonymous sources and no hard facts,” he told the Times.