DOJ has to move slowly with Mar-a-Lago evidence: analyst

Politics

(NewsNation) — New details are coming out about the search of former president Donald Trump’s Florida resort Mar-a-Lago, with the Justice Department arguing in a court filing that government documents were likely concealed and removed to obstruct the investigation.

Legal analyst Wendy Patrick, on NewsNation’s “Morning in America,” questioned where the documents were actually found.

“Obviously, we see the photo spread that the FBI has shown, but is that where they were found? No. So we want to know a little bit more about why the president’s lawyers didn’t find them, didn’t see them. They were obviously clearly marked,” she said.

Photos revealed include the cover pages of paperclip-bound classified documents, with some marked as “TOP SECRET//SCI” and one with “SECRET//SCI” on it. During its Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, the FBI seized boxes and containers with more than 100 classified records in them.

“Terrible the way the FBI, during the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see. Thought they wanted them kept Secret? Lucky I Declassified!,” Trump wrote in response on Truth Social on Wednesday.

When it comes to potential penalties Trump might face, Patrick said authorities should keep in mind that they are not just looking at a former president, but also a potential future president. While Trump has not officially announced another run for office in 2024, political analysts have been talking about it as a possibility.

“This is unprecedented in so many ways,” Patrick said. “The (Department of Justice) has to move slowly, not just in terms of what they plan to do with the evidence they found, but what they would plan to do if, in fact, they sought an indictment and were able to secure a conviction.”

Although the Justice Department filing provides more information on the investigation, it does not answer why Trump held onto the documents after leaving the White House.

Patrick said she isn’t convinced there’s even going to be an effort to move forward criminally at this point.

However, the Justice Department’s findings do raise questions about concealment and comingling, she said.

“Show me the evidence, right? That’s what everybody says on both sides of the aisle, including the former president’s team,” Patrick said. “So we have now been shown a little bit of the evidence.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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