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Federal prosecutors open grand jury probe into Trump absconding with boxes of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Federal prosecutors have empaneled a grand jury to investigate the circumstances of at least 15 boxes of government documents, many of which were highly classified, being taken to Donald Trump’s club in Florida, the New York Times reports.

After a 2016 campaign where he made a major issue of documents with low security classifications–items like newspaper articles and travel schedules–being found on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, Trump’s handling of classified documents he should not have been in possession of would seem like it should be a big deal for the GOP, but Republicans and their preferred propaganda networks have barely acknowledged Trump’s massive security breach except to say it’s another witch hunt.  But in this case, it appears to have found actual “witches,” metaphorically.

Justice Department prosecutors have issued a subpoena to the National Archives and Records Administration for an inventory of the documents found in at least 15 boxes that were delivered to Mar-a-Lago after Trump was kicked out of the White House.  The boxes contained government documents, many of which were classified; gifts; government property from the White House; and letters.  All those material should have been turned over to the National Archives as part of the Presidential Records Act or other laws dictating what belongs to the individual occupying the White House and what is required to be left to the federal government.  The Trump camp apparently ignored those laws and took whatever it wanted.

The question of the handling of the documents concerns more than just discovering they were illegally taken to Mar-a-Lago.  Trump had a habit of blurting out classified information to show off to foreign leaders:  he disclosed the existence of an Israeli spy to Russian officials during an Oval Office visit early in his term, and he discussed a missile strike on Syria with Chinese President Xi Jinping while Trump gobbled down chocolate cake at the private club where he spent 10% of his days in office.  (He visited a Trump Organization property once every 3.4 days while in office.)

The investigation will probe how the documents were stored at Mar-a-Lago; how they came to be shipped to the resort; who had access to them; whom Trump or other persons showed them to; and if any of the documents were stolen or removed.

Trump claims he was not aware that the documents were in his possession, and that he was only informed about them in January when the National Archives advised him that they were missing, a year after Joe Biden was inaugurated.

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