Advertisement

DOJ Expected To Indict Donald Trump In Mar-A-Lago Probe: Report

Advertisement

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly expected to indict former President Donald Trump for alleged mishandling of classified materials in the Mar-a-Lago probe.

“Special Counsel Jack Smith has all but finished obtaining testimony and other evidence in his criminal investigation into whether former President Donald Trump mishandled classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort, according to people familiar with the matter,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Some of Trump’s close associates are bracing for his indictment and anticipate being able to fundraise off a prosecution, people in the former president’s circle said, as clashes within the Trump legal team have led to the departure of a key lawyer. In recent weeks prosecutors working for Smith have completed interviews with nearly every employee at Trump’s Florida home, from top political aides to maids and maintenance staff, the people said. Prosecutors have pressed witnesses—some in multiple rounds of testimony—on questions that appeared to home in on specific elements Smith’s team would need to show to prove a crime, including those that speak to Trump’s intentions, and questions aimed at undermining potential defenses Trump could raise, they said,” the outlet added.

Last week, multiple sources familiar with the investigation into Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort reported that prosecutors for Special Counsel Jack Smith have been inquiring about the handling of surveillance footage after the Trump Organization received a subpoena for it last summer.

CNN noted in an exclusive that, in recent weeks, there have been further grand jury subpoenas issued to top Trump employees in response to concerns about how the organization handled the footage and responded to the Justice Department’s request for it.

Advertisement

Calamari Sr., the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Trump Organization, where he has primarily been responsible for overseeing security operations for Trump and his properties. His son serves as the Director of Security for the Trump Organization, CNN reported.

Thursday’s scheduled grand jury hearing represents another significant development in Jack Smith’s investigation, as it involves securing the testimony of some of Trump’s closest allies as potential witnesses against him, the report claimed.

The surveillance footage is believed to be a crucial component of the Justice Department’s investigation into the potential mishandling of classified records at Trump’s Florida beach club after he left office, as well as possible obstruction of justice, CNN added.

Advertisement

A previous report from CNN indicated that the surveillance footage captured an aide named Walt Nauta, who is known to be close to the former president, along with another Mar-a-Lago employee, moving boxes filled with documents out of a storage closet.

The report noted further:

The Calamaris are among several witnesses expected to testify in Smith’s investigation on Thursday, sources said. Prosecutors have previously brought in lower-level Trump employees for questioning about the surveillance footage, including how it may have been handled in response to the subpoena for it and if it could have been tampered with, two sources told CNN this week.

Advertisement

Investigators also have previously asked about a text message from Nauta to Calamari Sr. and subsequent conversations about the surveillance footage, according to two of the sources. The Justice Department questioned Nauta months ago about the handling of the boxes, and he told the FBI about being directed by Trump, CNN previously reported.

The FBI raided Trump’s Florida estate in August after the Justice Department claimed he was not cooperating regarding the potential return of classified documents.

The following month, an attorney for Trump poured cold water on releasing any security footage of the FBI searching Mar-a-Lago.

A special master was appointed by a federal judge to examine documents seized by the FBI during a raid on Mar-a-Lago.

Former chief federal Judge Raymond Dearie, appointed by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon in September 2022, directed attorneys for Trump and the Justice Department to come to New York City for a “preliminary conference.”

Lawyers for the two parties were asked to submit “proposed agenda items” to discuss by a date established during the same month, the outlet added.

FBI officials said agents recovered around 100 items marked as ‘classified’ during the raid, though Trump has said he previously declassified everything in his possession before leaving office per his authority as president.

Advertisement
Test your skills with this Quiz!