Donald Trump’s spokesperson claimed The New York Times engaged in “some of the most irresponsible reporting imaginable” after the outlet published a story claiming an aide for the former president moved around boxes at Mar-a-Lago before and after a subpoena to return classified materials — despite not knowing what was actually inside the boxes.
The NYT published a story Thursday claiming a Trump aide was caught on camera moving boxes “out of a storage room” at Mar-a-Lago “both before and after” the Department of Justice issued a subpoena asking for the former president to return all classified materials. The storage room in question was one of the rooms subject to investigation by the DOJ in its August raid, the outlet said, citing anonymous sources “familiar with the matter.”
The NYT states twice in its reporting that “it is unclear if the boxes that were moved were among the material later retrieved by the F.B.I.,” apparently indicating that the outlet is not certain that the boxes being moved had any classified materials that the FBI was looking for.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Trump had ordered an official to move boxes at Mar-a-Lago, but it is not clear if the aide in the Post and the NYT stories are the same person.
The NYT story in combination with the Washington Post story has the establishment media lobbing accusations that Trump ordered an aide to move boxes in an attempt to hide evidence from the DOJ, with some people calling for Trump’s arrest.
Trump’s spokesperson Taylor Budowich stressed to the Daily Caller that “the New York Times admits they don’t actually know what was being moved.”
“This is some of the most irresponsible reporting imaginable,” Budowich said, adding that “these propagandists for the Biden regime are indeed the enemy of the people.”
He also claimed that the Biden administration is “colluding with the media through targeted leaks in an overt and illegal act of intimidation and tampering” instead of “being honest and admitting their raid and break-in of Mar-a-Lago was unwarranted and unconstitutional.”
The FBI seized several hundred U.S. government documents, some bearing classification markings, from Mar-a-Lago in the August raid, but also took dozens of empty folders with classification marking, books, gifts, and hundreds of articles that were “magazine/newspapers/press articles and other printed media,” according to the unsealed detailed inventory.
The Trump legal team has maintained that, as president, Trump had the authority to declassify any document he wanted, and that the DOJ has not proved the documents seized were actually classified.
The investigation into the documents at Mar-a-Lago began in 2021 with the National Archives trying to facilitate the return of all the materials that were moved from the White House. Trump reportedly went through the materials at Mar-a-Lago and gave the archives 15 boxes in January, some of which had “classified” materials, the NYT reported.
The DOJ then launched an investigation into what metals were still at Mar-a-Lago, believing Trump had not returned all the “classified” materials in January. (RELATED: Trump Turns To Supreme Court On Mar-A-Lago Raid)
The release of the redacted affidavit used to justify the raid on Mar-a-Lago showed that the DOJ believed there to be probable cause of “evidence of obstruction” in the Florida residence after Trump had returned the original 15 boxes.
Prosecutors said in a court filing in August that “the DOJ also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation” after the DOJ has issued a subpoena requesting the remaining “classified documents be returned.