Trump team claimed boxes at Mar-a-Lago were only news clippings

News September 16, 2022 News
Trump team claimed boxes at Mar-a-Lago were only news clippings

From The Washington Post by Jacqueline Alemany, Josh Dawsey and Rosalind S. Helderman

Months before National Archives officials retrieved hundreds of classified documents in 15 boxes from former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, they were told that none of the material was sensitive or classified and that Trump had only 12 boxes of “news clippings,” according to people familiar with the conversations between Trump’s team and the Archives.

During a September 2021 phone call with top Archives lawyer Gary Stern, former deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin offered reassuring news: Philbin said he had talked to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who made the assertion about the dozen boxes of clippings, the people familiar with the call said. Trump’s team was aware of no other materials, Philbin said, relaying information he said he got from Meadows.

The characterization made in the call vastly misrepresented the scale and variety of documents, including classified records, eventually recovered by the Archives or the FBI.

Photo by Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post

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