The Donald Trump documents investigation is back in the news.
And this time, things are getting even more severe for the former president.
It was revealed that “Trump was put on notice that he could not retain any classified documents after he was subpoenaed for their return last year.”
Donald Trump: ‘Put on Notice’
Recently, the documents investigation – in which the DOJ is investigating documents that the FBI seized in a raid on Mar-a-Lago – had faded from the headlines in favor Alvin Bragg’s charges for a hush money payment and E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit claiming rape.
But with a Bragg interim and a Carroll resolution, the headlines have room at the top for a new burst of news in the investigation of the documents.
Here’s what’s new
It turns out that Donald Trump was warned that he could not retain any classified documents after he was subpoenaed for the return of said documents.
Donald Trump failed to comply. Now, special counsel Jack Smith is considering whether Trump’s failure to comply was a deliberate act of obstruction.
“The previously unreported warning conveyed to Trump by his lawyer Evan Corcoran could be significant in the criminal investigation surrounding Trump’s handling of classified materials given it shows he knew about his subpoena obligations,” The Guardian reported.
The warning could be significant because some documents were moved from Mar-a-Lago to a storage unit – which the FBI also seized in a later raid. The question now is whether Trump made special arrangements to move the documents to the storage unit and avoid having the documents recovered, despite knowing he was not to retain any of the documents.
Trump and Those Classified Documents
The word on the document investigation from Trump’s camp is that “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.”
I don’t know if the investigation is a pure “witch-hunt” or “concocted” as Trump claims, but I am skeptical.
And why wouldn’t I be? The media has been reporting for years, seemingly without a moment’s respite, that Trump’s downfall would be imminent. Through political, congressional, or legal means, we always seem to be just on the verge of Trump going down hard. At least as far as the media is concerned.
There was the Access Hollywood tape and then Russiagate and January 6th. Now we’ve got several pending investigations and multiple lawsuits and the media has kept us abreast of the minutiae in each and every case, all under the premise that Trump will go down. And yet, Trump has not gone down. Not even close.
Rather, he’s the favorite to win the GOP nomination – his third consecutive. He’s going to make a viable push for reclaiming the presidency. The point is that I’m not sitting around waiting for discrete updates in X or Y Trump investigation. I don’t care what Trump’s lawyer said here or what Trump’s valet said there. My sense is that an intense collective desire to watch Trump fail has manifested itself in hawk-eyed observation of everything happening in Trump’s orbit.
So maybe the latest break in the documents investigation case is significant. But don’t get your hopes up.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.