Trump’s lawyer said in June that classified material had been returned: NYT

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A lawyer for former U.S. President Donald Trump signed a statement in June saying all classified material stored in boxes at the Mar-a-Lago residence had been returned to the government. The New York Times reported Saturday.

The declaration was signed after Jay Bratt, a top Justice Department national security official, visited Trump’s beach club in South Florida on June 3, according to the newspaper. Bratt met with two Trump attorneys to discuss the handling of classified information during the visit, the newspaper added.

Trump is under federal investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act, which makes it illegal to spy for another country or mishandle U.S. defense information, including sharing it with people not authorized to receive it, an unsealed search warrant showed. on Friday.

FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago this week and removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked top secret, according to the Justice Department.

The existence of the statement from Trump’s lawyer suggests that the former president and his team may not have fully disclosed information about classified documents at the former president’s residence, the Times reported.

Reuters could not independently confirm the information. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesman, criticized the FBI search in a statement as an “unprecedented and unnecessary raid” that was part of another “fabricated witch hunt by the Democrats.” Budowich neither confirmed nor denied the journalistic report.

The chairmen of the Intelligence Committee and the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Saturday asked the director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, to review what damage the fact that Trump had highly sensitive documents may have done to national security. classified in Mar-a-Lago.

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“Former President Trump’s conduct has potentially placed our national security at serious risk. This matter demands a full review, in addition to the ongoing investigation by law enforcement,” the two committee chairs, both Democrats, said in a letter. three pages, which they made public.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is the chair of the Oversight Committee, while Adam Schiff chairs the Intelligence Committee.

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