Justice Department seeks further questioning of Trump aide in Mar-a-Lago investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is again seeking to interview an associate of Donald Trump who was seen on security camera footage moving boxes of classified documents to the former president’s Florida estate. , according to a person familiar with the matter.

Walt Nauta has previously been questioned by investigators looking into the potential mishandling of classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago and prosecutors want to speak to him again as they try to figure out how the boxes were moved from a room of storage of the property, said the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The department is investigating potential violations of several criminal laws, including unlawful withholding of national defense information and obstruction. It is not clear if anyone will be charged.

The obstruction aspect of the investigation erupted into public view in August when prosecutors in a court filing described how classified documents were “likely concealed and removed” from a Mar-a-Lago storage room in the potential purpose of obstructing the investigation and obstructing the Department of Justice. efforts to recover the records.

The Justice Department issued a subpoena in May seeking the return of classified documents taken from the White House at Mar-a-Lago after Trump’s term ended.

Law enforcement officials visited on June 3 to retrieve the files and received an envelope containing 38 documents with classification marks. They also asked Trump’s legal team to keep the boxes of classified documents in the storage room until further notice.

But FBI agents came to believe that there were more documents remaining at the home and that there had been efforts to obstruct their investigation. They returned on August 8 with a court-authorized search warrant and collected more than 100 documents marked as classified, including at the top secret level.

The person who spoke to the AP declined to characterize Nauta’s specific account to authorities. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that a Trump associate, since identified as Nauta, told the FBI that he moved boxes under Trump’s explicit direction.

The New York Times, which reported earlier Monday that prosecutors are seeking another interview with Nauta, also quoted a person briefed on the matter as saying Nauta said he acted at Trump’s direction. But the newspaper quoted another person who described Nauta as less specific about what he was told.


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