The officials of Department of Justice (DOJ) have demanded in recent weeks the lawyers of Donald Trump that the former president return all the documents marked as classified belonging to the records of his Administration, making it clear that they do not believe that all the materials that were taken when Trump left the White House have been returnedtwo people familiar with the scope of the investigation told The New York Times.
Justice officials, including Jay Bratt, a top lawyer in the Justice Department’s national security division, have told Trump’s lawyers that Trump has an ongoing obligation to return documents marked classified, even after Presidential records were seized during the FBI seizure of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s residence in Florida.
The New York Times first reported the scope of the Justice Department’s request.
It is not known if the Justice Department has new evidence that Trump has withheld government material even after the August court-authorized search of his private club and Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, and 18 months of prior efforts to part of the federal government to convince the former president to return what he took from the White House when he left office.
In numerous court filings, prosecutors have indicated they are concerned that classified records may still be missing.
For example, the Department of Justice described the need to determine if other classified records had not yet been collected and he pointed to the empty envelopes with classified banners that were seized in the August search at Mar-a-Lago.
An appeals court is still considering whether to release access for the DOJ to use as evidence thousands more unclassified documents recovered in the Mar-a-Lago search.
Late last week, the Biden administration kept quiet about whether or not Trump had handed over all the records.
“Regarding the second question of whether former President Trump has turned over all presidential records, we respectfully refer you to the Department of Justice in light of its ongoing investigation,” the National Archives reported to the House Oversight Committee, which raised the question.
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