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An aide to Donald Trump has reportedly provided some explosive information to special counsel Jack Smith and his team of prosecutors regarding the former president’s indictment for his alleged improper possession of classified materials.
“One of former President Donald Trump’s long-time assistants told federal investigators that Trump repeatedly wrote to-do lists for her on documents from the White House that were marked classified, according to sources familiar with her statements,” ABC News reported on Monday.
As it was described to the network, “the aide, Molly Michael, told investigators that — more than once — she received requests or taskings from Trump that were written on the back of notecards, and she later recognized those notecards as sensitive White House materials — with visible classification markings — used to brief Trump while he was still in office about phone calls with foreign leaders or other international-related matters,” the report continued.
The notecards containing classification markings were present at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate during the FBI’s search on August 8, 2022. However, sources familiar with Michael’s statements to investigators have indicated that these materials were not seized by the FBI, ABC News noted.
When Michael, who was not present during the search, returned to her office space at Mar-a-Lago the following day to tidy up, she discovered the documents beneath a drawer organizer. She then assisted in turning them over to the FBI on the same day, the outlet reported.
In addition, the sources said that Michael informed federal investigators that she grew more concerned last year about how the former president was handling ongoing requests from the National Archives seeking a return of all government documents that he was keeping boxes at Mar-a-Lago, said the report. Also, she said she felt like Trump’s claims at the time would not be hard to disprove, sources said.
The sources also claimed that after Trump heard the FBI wanted to interview his aide last year, he supposedly told her, “You don’t know anything about the boxes.” It’s not clear what he may have meant by that, however, ABC News noted, adding:
Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information ranging from U.S. nuclear secrets to the nation’s defense capabilities, and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to get the documents back. Trump has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.
As ABC News previously reported, Michael is believed to be the person identified in special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment as “Trump Employee 2,” described in the indictment as someone who handled many of Trump’s White House-era boxes at Mar-a-Lago and who provided Trump with photos of those boxes that were then included in the indictment.
A spokesperson for the former president said that what sources allegedly told ABC News — via what the spokesperson called “illegal leaks” — did not have “proper context and relevant information.” The spokesperson also said: “President Trump did nothing wrong, has always insisted on truth and transparency, and acted in a proper manner, according to the law.”
Smith’s team made a substantial court filing late last month, providing an update on Trump’s classified documents case.
The filing noted that the Washington, D.C., grand jury finished its work last week.
“The disclosure of the grand jury’s completion on Aug. 17 was tucked into a footnote of a larger filing Smith’s lawyers submitted to the federal judge in South Florida who is now overseeing the indictment against the former president and co-defendants Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira,” The Messenger reported.
The federal judge overseeing the case, Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, has questioned Smith over the use of a DC grand jury in the classified documents case rather than empaneling one in South Florida, where her district is located.