Last Wednesday, additional portions of the affidavit used by the FBI last year to obtain a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago were unsealed by a magistrate judge, the New York Times reported.
The newly unsealed sections suggest that the search was based in part on surveillance footage from the cameras near a basement storage room that showed Donald Trump’s personal aide Walt Nauta moving dozens of boxes in and out of the room just days before federal officials arrived to collect the classified documents still in Trump’s possession.
Much of the material unsealed last Wednesday by Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart had already been publicly released as part of the 48-page indictment issued against Trump and Nauta last month.
The newly unsealed information included a photograph showing dozens of boxes in the storage room and a detailed description of the various angles shot by the surveillance cameras outside of the room.
The affidavit noted that Nauta removed 64 boxes from the storage room between May 24 and June 1, 2022, and only returned 25 or 30 boxes. The location of the boxes not returned to the storage room “is unknown,” the affidavit said.
However, the unsealed portions of the affidavit did not disclose all of the reasons federal prosecutors believed that classified documents remained at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate even after the two previous attempts to retrieve them.
In response to Judge Reinhart’s latest order, Trump spokesman Steven Cheung claimed, despite evidence to the contrary, that the former president has been consistent in complying with the President Records Act and has cooperated with the Department of Justice.
The newly unsealed portions also revealed that neither Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran nor any attorney representing the former president told prosecutors that Trump had previously declassified any of the classified documents turned over in June 2022, contradicting an earlier statement Trump’s lawyers gave the Justice Department that Trump had “absolute authority” to declassify anything he wanted.
According to the affidavit, Corcoran told the Justice Department that he had been told that there were no classified documents in any office or other locations at Mar-a-Lago, an assertion that turned out to be untrue.