Donald Trump stored classified docs within feet of Mar-a-Lago guests: Report

Trump-Mar-a-Lago-Incident
This Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, photo, shows the Mar-a-Lago resort owned by President-elect Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Fla. When Trump arrives at his Mar-a-Lago resort for Thanksgiving, it won’t be the first time a president-elect has used Palm Beach as his vacation refuge. John Kennedy’s family estate, known during his term as the Winter White House, is seven miles north at the other end of Ocean Drive. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Lynne Sladky/AP

Donald Trump stored classified docs within feet of Mar-a-Lago guests: Report

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Former President Donald Trump allegedly stored classified documents within feet of guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, a new report claimed.

More than 300 classified documents have been retrieved from the Florida resort this year, with the largest batch obtained during an FBI raid in August. The classified documents were seized from two primary locations: Trump’s private office, and a storage area located near the pool, which is open to guests, according to a New York Times investigation.

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Trump officials claimed that guests could not access the storage room, and only certain staffers had clearance. However, people familiar with the property claimed the area is accessible through two sets of arched doors, according to the outlet. Guests are allowed in the pool and outdoor patios, including an awning that was located within 60 feet of the doorways, placing thousands of guests that visited the resort at more than 50 political events since Trump left office close to the doorways.

Other top secret documents were seized from Trump’s office, located above the grand ballroom. FBI agents in August seized at least one container of top secret files from the office’s closet and other files from the desk drawer. It is unclear whether the drawer was locked. But Trump has brought multiple guests to his office while the documents were hidden in the room, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), former Trump advisers Stephen Miller and Michael Flynn, and Kyle Rittenhouse.

The office is accessible through a grand staircase near the ballroom but is not usually open to guests. No permanent barrier has been placed to block the staircase, but a rope has tied off the staircase at certain events, according to social media posts shared in the report.

Federal agents have been concerned about the lax security at the resort in the past, with federal prosecutors requesting that the storage room be more secure to protect top secret documents. Classified and top-secret documents are usually viewed in a secured enclosed space. But according to an affidavit from the Justice Department, the resort did not have a “secure location authorized for the storage of classified information.”

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A criminal investigation into the illegal storing of classified documents is currently underway, with Trump being investigated under 18 U.S.C. 793, part of the Espionage Act, according to a search warrant that was unsealed in August. He is also being investigated for the concealment or removal of government records, and obstruction of a federal investigation.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that he declassified the documents before leaving office.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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