What A Fool: Donald Trump was warned of Mar-a-Lago raid – While Donald Trump has long maintained the raid on his Florida estate, which led to one of his indictments, was a surprise, new lawyer notes show that he was warned in advance.
Donald Trump Made Another Stupid Mistake
In August of 2022, former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida was searched by the FBI, in relation to classified documents the former president was alleged to have kept after leaving office. The raid led, earlier this year, to Trump’s federal indictment by Special Counsel Jack Smith, in what is largely seen by legal experts as the strongest of the four criminal cases against the ex-president.
Trump has always maintained that he was taken aback by the raid. But a new report says that the former president was actually warned in advance.
According to ABC News, then-Trump attorney Evan Corcoran warned Trump, in an in-person conversation at Mar-a-Lago prior to the raid, that the FBI may very well try to search the estate.
Corcoran “warned the former president in person, at Mar-a-Lago, that not only did Trump have to fully comply with the subpoena, but that the FBI might search the estate if he didn’t,” ABC said, citing Corcoran’s contemporaneous voice memo notes, and transcripts of them that ABC News reviewed.
ABC News also reports that another Trump lawyer had warned Corcoran, soon after, that “he’s just going to go ballistic.”
It’s another story showing that it can’t be much fun to be Donald Trump’s lawyer, even if you don’t end up indicted, as several Trump attorneys were in the Georgia RICO case.
ABC added that Corcoran’s recordings have emerged as “a key piece of evidence in special counsel Jack Smith’s classified documents case against Trump,” and that information from them has been part of the indictment. It’s been known for a while that Corcoran had provided notes to the special counsel’s office.
The discussion came when the classified documents probe had already begun after Trump had returned some of the materials demanded by the National Archives, but after a subpoena had been issued for more materials. Corcoran, who had recently been hired by Trump in the matter, traveled to Florida to tell Trump to comply with the request.
The meeting, per the report, took place in front of “a Norman Rockwell-style painting depicting Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton and Trump playing poker.” During the meeting, Trump repeatedly went off on tangents about how unfairly he was being targeted, while also discussing Hillary Clinton and his standing in the polls.
The attorney later warned the former president that “we’ve got a grand jury subpoena and the alternative is if you don’t comply with the grand jury subpoena you could be held in contempt.”
When Trump asked what would happen if they didn’t cooperate, Corcoran told the ex-president that “there’s a prospect that they could go to a judge and get a search warrant and that they could arrive here.” Even after that, Trump kept stating that it “might be better if they refused to cooperate.”
The Corcoran memos also show that Trump misled his own attorneys, in stating that his basement storage room was the only remaining place with classified documents.
“I’ve got boxes in my basement that I really wouldn’t want you to go through,” Trump told the lawyer, ABC said.
The indictment alleges that Walt Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, who were indicted along with Trump, “allegedly removed dozens of boxes from the storage room — all at Trump’s direction”’and with the goal “that many boxes were not searched and many documents responsive to the May 11 Subpoena could not be found.’”
Corcoran went on to find 38 classified documents and hand them over to the FBI, along with a certification that Trump had complied with the subpoena. But he had not, as more than 100 more documents were found at the time of the raid.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.
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