WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A lawyer for former U.S. President Donald Trump signed a statement in June saying all classified material kept in boxes at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence had been returned to the government, the New York reported on Saturday. Times.
The declaration was signed after Jay Bratt, a top national security official with the US Department of Justice, visited Trump’s beach club in South Florida on June 3, the New York Times reported. Bratt met with two Trump attorneys to discuss the handling of classified information during the visit, the newspaper said.
Trump is under federal investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act, which makes it illegal to spy for another country or mishandle US defense information, including sharing it with people not authorized to receive it, a search warrant made showed. public on Friday.
FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago this week and removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked top secret, according to the Justice Department.
The existence of the statement from Trump’s attorney suggests that Trump and his team may not have fully disclosed information about classified documents at the former president’s residence, the Times reported.
Reuters was unable to independently confirm the report. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Trump, criticized the FBI search in a statement as an “unprecedented and unnecessary raid” that was part of another “Democrat-manufactured witch hunt.”
Budowich neither confirmed nor denied the New York Times report.
(Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Additional reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Leslie Adler)