LEAK: FBI Contacted Two Trump Aides About Mar-A-Lago Boxes; Second Staffer Identified
Another day, another leak.
The FBI contacted at least two Trump aides about the records stored at Mar-a-Lago.
A Trump employee told the FBI he moved boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago on the former president’s orders, according a report published by the Washington Post late Wednesday.
Apparently only Trump isn’t allowed to take possession of his own presidential records.
Barack Obama was never harassed or accused of violating the Espionage Act for storing highly classified documents at a warehouse.
According to The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the claim from Trump’s worker is corroborated by security footage.
Trump’s worker was told to move the boxes after the former president received a subpoena in May for classified documents.
The ‘key witness’ who moved Mar-a-Lago boxes on Trump’s orders is a former White House employee and Navy veteran.
The Washington Post identified the key witness as Walt Nauta, a 39-year-old who worked valet for Trump and served as a personal staffer at Mar-a-Lago.
The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that the FBI is now in contact with a second Trump aide who handled Mar-a-Lago.
The Wall Street Journal identified the second staffer.
“The aides, Walt Nauta and Will Russell, are witnesses in the Justice Department’s investigation into the handling of presidential and classified records taken from the White House but aren’t formally cooperating with the probe,” The Wall Street Journal reported citing “people familiar with the matter.”
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Federal investigators contacted at least two aides to former President Donald Trump months before the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago resort and have sought to talk to them again in recent weeks, people familiar with the matter said, as the Justice Department examines possible obstruction of its efforts to retrieve hundreds of government and classified documents.
The aides, Walt Nauta and Will Russell, are witnesses in the Justice Department’s investigation into the handling of presidential and classified records taken from the White House but aren’t formally cooperating with the probe, the people said. Mr. Russell hasn’t personally spoken to investigators, who are communicating directly with his counsel.
Mr. Nauta, a former military valet who went to work at Mar-a-Lago after Mr. Trump left the White House, was seen on surveillance footage moving boxes from a storage room before and after investigators issued a subpoena in May seeking the documents’ return, the people said. Mr. Nauta told investigators that he did so at Mr. Trump’s request, one of the people said.
The federal interest in Mr. Russell hasn’t been previously reported. He served in the Trump White House, including as a coordinator of presidential travel, and went on to work for the former president in Florida after he left office. Mr. Russell had previously been subpoenaed in connection with the Justice Department’s investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. The FBI’s questioning of Mr. Nauta was earlier reported by the New York Times.
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Author: Cristina Laila