A Trump employee told the FBI that the former president ordered him to move boxes from a basement storage room to his Mar-a-Lago residence after Donald Trump’s legal team received a subpoena to obtain the classified documents at the residence. of Florida, according to a source familiar with the description of the witness.

The FBI also has surveillance footage showing a staff member removing boxes from the storage room, the source told CNN.

Witnesses’ accounts of Trump’s actions after he was summoned to appear in May, along with the images, could be key to the federal criminal investigation investigating a range of possible crimes, including obstruction, destruction of government records and mishandling of classified information.

FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago in August and seized thousands of documents, including about 100 marked classified. The FBI also subpoenaed the Trump Organization for surveillance video of the complex.

The Trump employee initially denied tampering with sensitive documents or boxes at Mar-a-Lago, according to the source. But the FBI uncovered evidence that led investigators to go back to the witness, who revised his story to say that Trump had given instructions to move the boxes, the source said.

The Justice Department has previously alleged that the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago were “likely hidden and removed” from a storage room at Mar-a-Lago as part of an effort to “obstruct” the FBI’s investigation into the case. possible mishandling of classified materials by Trump.

After the former president returned 15 boxes of materials to the National Archives in January, he was subpoenaed by the Justice Department in May, seeking documents with classification marks still at Mar-a-Lago.

According to a lawsuit he later filed, Trump directed his staff to search for any remaining classified material to comply with the subpoena. After federal investigators recovered documents from the resort in June, its attorneys later told investigators they had searched the storage area and all classified documents had been accounted for.

Prosecutors said in August that some documents were likely removed from a storage room before Trump’s attorneys searched the area as they tried to comply with the subpoena.

“The government also obtained evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the storage room and that steps were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,” prosecutors wrote at the time. “This included evidence indicating that boxes previously in the storage room were not returned prior to attorney’s review.”

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