NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
A source close to former President Trump told Fox News Thursday that new reports suggesting an informant tipped off the FBI about alleged sensitive documents being held at Mar-a-Lago are “irrelevant.”
The source reasoned that Trump and the former president’s representatives have been “cooperating” with the FBI and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for a year.
The source’s comments follow reports the FBI received a tip suggesting there could be additional classified documents at Mar-a-Lago beyond what Trump had turned over.
Trump’s office received a grand jury subpoena in the spring for classified documents he allegedly took from the White House when he left office in 2021, a source close to Trump told Fox News, noting the former president cooperated with the subpoena by turning over documents to the FBI June 3.
According to the source, a subpoena was issued to a “custodian of the president” and was related to the materials that NARA was trying to collect after claiming Trump improperly took those classified records with him from Washington, D.C., to Mar-a-Lago.
On June 3, the FBI visited Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the requested documents in the subpoena, which Trump complied with, the source told Fox News.
Those investigators toured the area of the Florida resort where some documents were stored, then briefly viewed and took custody of a small amount of potentially sensitive material. Separate sources told Fox News that federal investigators had spoken with at least one person who relayed the possibility of more sensitive national security material in that storage room and other areas of the property.
FBI officials that day asked to see a storage facility where the records were located. The FBI asked staff to put a lock on the storage room, which was done.
This source said Trump and his staff were, and are, committed to being in compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which requires presidential administrations to preserve certain documents.
The source says Trump’s staff has been interviewed by the FBI with regard to the NARA investigation over the last several months.
The FBI interviewed staff who moved boxes from the White House, administrative staff and others who helped to organize Trump’s departure from the Oval Office and questioned those individuals on what they were involved in moving.
“The reality is, you talk to anyone part of an administration and leaving the White House and they will tell you it is always a chaotic thing,” the source said. The source added it is “not surprising” records “came that should have stayed,” and it is “not unusual for NARA and former administration officials to be in communications about documents and whether or not they should have left the White House or stayed behind.
“Even if there was an informant — someone who told the FBI that all of these things are there inside Mar-a-Lago — the FBI could have just asked for it, as the president and his team have been cooperating for a year,” the source added.
Investigators also spoke to at least one witness about the existence of sensitive material remaining in a Mar-a-Lago basement. Those sources would not characterize that person as an “informant” or the information received as a “tip.”
The raid was related to NARA, which said earlier this year that Trump took 15 boxes of presidential records to his personal residence in Florida. Those boxes allegedly contained “classified national security information” and official correspondence between Trump and foreign heads of state.
NARA notified Congress in February that the agency recovered the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago and “identified items marked as classified national security information within the boxes.” The matter was referred to the Justice Department by NARA.
Classified material that was reportedly confiscated by the FBI during the raid Monday included a letter to Trump from former President Obama, a letter from Kim Jong Un, a birthday dinner menu and a cocktail napkin.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he “personally” approved the warrant for the raid of Mar-a-Lago and filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida for the warrant and the receipt of property from Monday’s search to be unsealed.
Moments after Garland made his rare public statement from the DOJ, Trump posted to his TRUTH Social.
“My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established,” Trump posted. “The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it.
“They asked us to put an additional lock on a certain area — DONE!” he added. “Everything was fine, better than that of most previous Presidents, and then, out of nowhere and with no warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided, at 6:30 in the morning, by VERY large numbers of agents, and even ‘safecrackers.’
“They got way ahead of themselves. Crazy!”