- The FBI recovered 11 boxes of classified documents during its raid of Mar-a-Lago on Monday.
- A Trump lawyer told the Justice Department in June there were no classified materials on the property, The New York Times reported.
- The report provides new details into what led to the unprecedented step of searching Mar-a-Lago.
A lawyer for former President Donald Trump signed a statement in June telling the Justice Department that all classified materials had been returned — but the FBI found more during its search of Mar-a-Lago on Monday.
That’s according to The New York Times, which first reported on the written declaration Saturday, citing four people familiar with the document. The statement was given to the Justice Department after a counterintelligence official had visited Mar-a-Lago on June 3, the outlet reported.
But court records made public on Friday showed the FBI recovered 11 boxes of classified records from Mar-a-Lago during its Monday search, including some that were labeled “top secret” and meant to be stored in special government facilities. Trump has denied wrongdoing and claimed he declassified all the documents, but did not provide documentation of that.
The June statement signed by Trump’s lawyer, and the subsequent recovery of additional classified materials, could cast doubt on Trump’s claims that he and his legal team were cooperating fully with the Justice Department investigation prior to the raid.
Accusations by Trump and his allies that the raid was politically motivated prompted the attorney general to move to make the search warrant public. The court documents revealed the Justice Department was investigating possible violations of three laws that related to the handling of government documents, including part of the Espionage Act.
Republican lawmakers have continued to demand further explanation on what prompted the raid. The written statement reported by the Times provides additional insight into the events that led to the Justice Department taking such an unprecedented step.
Trump’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich dismissed the reporting on the lawyer’s June statement.
“Just like every Democrat-fabricated witch hunt previously, the water of this unprecedented and unnecessary raid is being carried by a media willing to run with suggestive leaks, anonymous sources and no hard facts,” he told the Times.