Washington (CNN) The Justice Department has obtained new evidence that could hamper the agency’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents. The Washington Post reported on Sunday.
Investigators have information that Trump personally reviewed some documents at his Mar-a-Lago home after receiving a subpoena from the Justice Department, people familiar with the investigation told the Post, saying he wanted to withhold some material.
Although the former president’s team returned some classified documents following a May 2022 subpoena, the FBI’s August search found many that were not returned.
Additional evidence obtained by investigators suggests that Trump told others to mislead government officials trying to retrieve documents from the White House before the subpoena last year, which could be evidence of his intent, the Post noted.
CNN has confirmed that investigators have the emails and text messages of former presidential aide Molly Michel, who left her job last year. Those texts and memos, which investigators have had for months, detail what Trump does and who he meets, which could be significant to understanding his whereabouts in relation to the documents.
as CNN reported In the past month, at least two dozen people — from Mar-a-Lago resort employees to members of Trump’s inner circle at his Florida estate — have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating his handling of classified documents.
Employees are of interest to investigators because of what they saw or heard while performing their daily duties around the estate, including seeing boxes or documents in Trump’s office suite or elsewhere.
The Justice Department has been investigating the mishandling of national security records and possible sanctions for about a year. FBI agents recovered more than 100 classified documents during a search at Mar-a-Lago last summer. Since then, Trump’s legal team has turned over additional classified material.
Officials involved in the investigation have asked witnesses if Trump had a particular interest in documents or materials related to Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, but it was unclear why.
Kaitlan Collins and Katelyn Bolandz contributed to this report.