Timeline of the Trump Mar-a-Lago classified documents story

From boxes outside the White House to an unprecedented FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago and ‘missing’ files: The timeline of the Trump classified documents case that has ended in his second indictment

  • Donald Trump left White House on January 20, 2021
  • FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home on August 8, 2022
  • Trump announced on Thursday he has been informed he’ll be indicted 

Donald Trump’s indictment comes almost a year after FBI agents conducted their raid on Mar-a-Lago, turning the classified documents that would lead to the former president being formally charged.

The incident began when Trump left office with records from his administration, which is against federal law. It involved the appointment of a special counsel, multiple Trump aides testifying before a grand jury and a fury of denials from the former president, who claims he is the victim of a political witch hunt.

Here’s a timeline of events:  

January 20, 2021: Donald Trump leaves the White House as Joe Biden is sworn in as the nation’s 46th president; Trump goes his West Beach home Mar-a-Lago.

May 2021: National Archives and Records Administration realizes some records from Trump’s presidency are missing

 Workers move boxes out of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds, before the departure of President Donald Trump on January 14, 2021

December 2021: Archives requests the documents from the former president; in late December, a Trump representative informed the agency that an additional 12 boxes of records that should have been turned over had been found at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago club and residence and were ready to be retrieved

January 18, 2022:  Archives received 15 boxes of material that had been stored at Mar-a-Lago, some of which were found to contain classified material

The agency said it ‘identified items marked as classified national security information, up to the level of Top Secret and including Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Program materials.’ 

In total, the boxes were found to contain 184 documents with classified markings, including 67 marked confidential, 92 secret and 25 top secret. 

February 8, 2022: The National Archives issues a public statement saying it is still searching for more of Trump’s presidential records

February 9, 2022: The matter is referred to the Justice Department

February 10, 2022: U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee announces an investigation into Trump’s handling of the documents

Donald Trump has claimed to be the victim of a political witch hunt

May 2022: After several back-and-forths with Trump’s legal team, the Justice Department issues a subpoena for additional records they believe to be in the former president’s Florida home

Investigators believe after that subpoena arrived, storage boxes, including some containing classified material, were moved from a Mar-a-Lago storage area, so Trump personally examined some of them.

April 12, 2022: Archives informed Trump of its intent to provide the documents to the FBI, at the request of the Justice Department. A Trump representative requested an extension until April 29.

April 29, 2022: The Justice Department sent a letter to Trump’s lawyers seeking immediate access to the material, ‘citing ‘important national security interest.’

‘Access to the materials is not only necessary for purposes of our ongoing criminal investigation, but the Executive Branch must also conduct an assessment of the potential damage resulting from the apparent manner in which these materials were stored and transported and take any necessary remedial steps,’ the department wrote.

May 10, 2022: Archives informed Trump’s lawyers that it would provide the FBI access to the records as soon as May 12.

May 11, 2022: The Justice Department issued a subpoena for additional records.

June 2, 2022: Walt Nauta and two employees move documents out of a store room. Hours later, Trump’s lawyers contact the DOJ and say they are welcome to visit and retrieve the documents 

June 3, 2022: Three FBI agents and one DOJ attorney go to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the additional material. They were given a single Redweld envelope, double-wrapped in tape, containing the documents, according to later court filings. That envelope contained 38 records with classification markings, including five papers marked confidential, 16 marked secret and 17 marked top secret

The FBI raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home (above) on August 8, 2022 

August 5, 2022: DOJ applied for a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, citing ‘probable cause’ that additional presidential records and records containing classified information remained at Trump’s Florida home. Court papers show that the original search warrant application showed agents believed that ‘evidence of obstruction will be found at the premises.’

August 8, 2022: FBI agents raid Mar-a-Lago: They recover 18 documents marked as top secret, 54 marked secret, 31 marked as confidential, and 11,179 government documents or photographs that had no classification markings.

August 22, 2022: Two weeks after the FBI’s search, Trump separately asks the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for a so-called special master to review the documents, prompting the Justice Department’s 54-page response.

August 26, 2022: The Justice Department releases a heavily redacted affidavit — a sworn statement outlining the evidence giving law enforcement officials probable cause to ask a judge to approve a search warrant — after media outlets sued for its release. A judge approved its release.

August 30, 2022: DoJ files its response to Trump’s request for a special master review.

September 2, 2022: The FBI reveals in a court filing that it recovered more than 11,000 government documents and photographs during the August 8 search of Trump’s estate, as well as 48 empty folders labeled as ‘classified.’ 

U.S. judge agrees to appoint special master in Trump search case.

Documents found at Mar-a-Lago in an August raid are pictured on display

Jack Smith was appointed in November as special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified information

October 2022: Walt Nauta testifies to federal officials in the investigation; telling them that he moved boxes at the former president’s request at a time when the government was seeking the return of classified material 

November 18, 2022: Jack Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick  Garland to serve as the Special Counsel 

March 2023: Trump’s communications aide Margo Martin, who worked in the White House and then moved with Trump to Florida, appeared before the grand jury in Washington, DC

At least two dozen people – from Mar-a-Lago resort staff to members of Donald Trump’s inner circle at the Florida estate – are subpoenaed to testify

April 2023: About a dozen current and former U.S. Secret Service officials assigned to Trump testify before the grand jury 

June 5, 2023: Trump’s legal team meets with Smith at the Justice Department 

June 7, 2023: It’s revealed a second grand jury in Florida has been hearing testimony;  Taylor Budowich, who has worked as a spokesman for Trump, appeared before it

June 2023: The Justice Department recently informs Donald Trump’s legal team that he is a target in a federal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents

June 8, 2023: Trump announces in a post on his Truth Social platform that he’s been indicted for mishandling of classified documents and summoned to appear before a federal judge in Miami

Source: Read Full Article