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document-gate

Trump kept some of the government's most classified docs, letter says

The National Archives and Records Administration recovered more than 700 pages of classified documents — including some labeled "special access program materials," one of the government's most secret classifications — from former President Donald Trump's Florida mansion back in January, according to a letter released by the Archives on Tuesday. Trump's NARA liaison John Solomon had published the text of the letter Monday night.

The materials were among those in the 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, and do not include any of the records obtained back in June and in the search on Aug. 8, Politico and The Washington Post report.

In a letter dated May 10, U.S. archivist Debra Steidel Wall alerted Trump lawyer Evan Cocoran to the growing concern inside the Justice Department regarding the documents. She described how Archives officials had discussed the missing presidential records with Trump representatives for nearly a year prior to the January search, The New York Times summarizes. 

Steidel Wall also told Corcoran that NARA would hand the 15 boxes of recovered materials over to the FBI, which would investigate "whether those records were handled in an unlawful manner" and any damage resulting from improper handling, the letter states. Further, she noted how her group gave Trump's team time to review the materials, after alerting his lawyers on April 12 of the Archives' plan to turn the documents over to the FBI.

Trump's attorneys had hoped to delay FBI involvement so the former president could decide whether to assert executive privilege over the documents; but "Steidel Wall ultimately rebuffed their request after consulting with the Department of Justice," the Post continues. Read more at The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and Politico.