A federal grand jury has assembled and issued at least one subpoena in the Justice Department’s probe into former President Donald Trump’s transfer of classified White House records to his Mar-a-Lago resort, suggesting the investigation into the former president is gaining steam, according to the New York Times.
Prosecutors in recent days subpoenaed the National Archives and Records Administration for boxes of documents shipped from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, according to the Times, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter.
Investigators have interviewed some former Trump Administration aides about the boxes, the Washington Post reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.
Neither the Justice Department nor a Trump spokeswoman immediately responded to requests for comment from Forbes.
In April, the Washington Post reported the Justice Department had started a preliminary investigation into why Trump took 15 boxes of records with him to Mar-a-Lago after leaving office, in apparent violation of the Presidential Records Act. It’s not clear whether Trump was aware he may have been breaking the law by moving the boxes to his resort, but proving intent will be key to bringing any criminal charges, according to the Times. Critics have blasted Trump and members of his administration for apparently taking little care to properly preserve records. Some White House documents turned over to the January 6 committee were torn up and had to be taped back together, according to multiple reports, while an upcoming book from Times reporter Maggie Haberman alleges that White House toilets were clogged with documents on multiple occasions while Trump was in office. The former president called the toilet-clogging claims “categorically untrue.”
The Presidential Records Act states that the U.S. is the owner of presidential records and requires outgoing presidents to transfer documents to the National Archives when leaving office. Unlawfully moving or destroying records could be considered a felony.
“I can remember watching the Trumps leaving the White House and getting off in the helicopter that day, and someone carrying a white banker box, and saying to myself, ‘What the hell’s in that box?’” former U.S. Archivist David Ferriero told the Washington Post.
What To Watch For
Trump is under scrutiny in several other investigations. In New York, a series of probes are looking into whether his business empire, the Trump Organization, purposely misvalued assets, while a special grand jury has been called in Georgia to decide whether to recommend criminal charges against Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.