Trump World hires unvetted third-party firm to search his properties for classified documents
Lawyers for Donald Trump have hired an outside firm to search four of his properties after the Dept. of Justice raised concerns that classified documents are still missing.
In June an attorney for Trump signed an affidavit claiming all classified documents taken from the White House had been returned. FBI agents executing a legal search warrant subsequently found over 300 classified and top-secret documents at Mar-a-Lago.
A team of two people recently “searched Trump Tower in New York, the Bedminster golf club and two other properties amid lingering concerns from the Justice Department that not all documents had been returned to the federal government,” CNN reports. “The four searches, which were carried out in recent weeks, were overseen by Trump’s legal team, the source said.”
The Washington Post reports Trump’s legal team says the outside-hired firm did not find any new classified documents. But even after the Mar-a-Lago FBI search, DOJ “prosecutors have continued to question whether Trump has returned all materials with classification markings.”
Some are questioning why the Trump legal team hired an outside third party, and wonder if they have clearance to view classified and top secret documents.
The Twitter account for National Security Counselors, a “Washington-area non-profit public interest law firm that specializes in national security law,” offer such a question.
The account, generally run by Kel McClanahan, whose bio at the George Washington University Law School notes he often represents the Intelligence Community, tweeted:
OK wait a minute
You’re telling me that his lawyers hired YET SOMEONE ELSE to READ THROUGH POTENTIAL NATIONAL DEFENSE INFORMATION
And PEOPLE THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA
AND THE FIRM AGREED TO DO IT
thus opening themselves up to prosecution under the Espionage Act
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