An employee working for Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago was directed to move boxes of documents from a storage room after a subpoena hit demanding their return — so, it was time to let the Department of Justice know the truth.
As details have trickled out about the search of Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump has been able to curate the news to a great degree by releasing information as he chose, while the U.S. government’s ability to share publicly was restrained by law. Now, a key detail of the timeline has come out, and it’s clear how the DOJ knew it was time to move.
Trump, it turns out, ordered an employee to move boxes of documents from the storage room where he’d previously been told to secure them. The employee was to move the boxes to the private residence portion of his beach resort — and this all came after the former president was hit with a subpoena ordering the return.
The employee, whose name has not been publicly revealed, reached out to the Justice Department, and their testimony was corroborated with security footage. The employee has been cooperating with Federal law enforcement and has sat for multiple interviews.
The Washington Post reports:
“Agents continued to gather evidence that Trump was apparently not complying with either government requests or subpoena demands. After significant deliberation, aware that it would be highly unusual for federal agents to search a former president’s home, they decided to seek a judge’s approval to do so.”
Trump and his supporters have insinuated that the government planted an informant at Mar-a-Lago, but the report indicates that the witness was initially reluctant and held back information until further interviews.
How does the former president respond to the news that the informant was someone he ordered to move documents he knew the government wanted back? By dropping new social media posts suggesting that his predecessor should be the subject of a raid instead.
Salon reported back in August that the terrified ex-president followed up the FBI search with a new level of distrust, aimed at virtually everyone around him. He reportedly worried that his phones might be tapped and that visiting Republicans might be wearing recording devices to catch him in further wrongdoing.
He even told a reporter that he was being contacted regularly by people who all had guesses about who the “mole” might be and that he was being advised to do phone checks on all his staff.
As Buffalo Springfield sang, “Paranoia strikes deep. Into your heart, it will creep.”
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.