Justice Department Seeks to Further Question Trump Aide in Mar-a-Lago Investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is seeking to question again an associate of Donald Trump who was seen on security camera moving boxes of classified records at the former president’s Florida estate, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Walt Nauta has already been interviewed by investigators examining possible mishandling of classified government records at Mar-a-Lago and prosecutors want to speak with him again as they try to understand how boxes from a storage room were relocated to the property, he said. the person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The Justice Department declined to comment.

The department is investigating potential violations of multiple criminal statutes, including unlawful withholding of national defense information and obstruction. It is unclear if anyone will be charged.

The obstruction aspect of the investigation came to light in August when prosecutors in a court filing described how classified documents were “likely concealed and removed” from a Mar-a-Lago storage room in a potential effort to obstruct the investigation and impede the Justice Department’s efforts to recover the records.

In May, the Justice Department issued a subpoena requesting the return of classified records taken from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after Trump’s term ended.

Law enforcement officials visited on June 3 to collect the records and received an envelope containing 38 documents with classification marks. They also directed Trump’s legal team to keep the boxes of classified records in the storage room until further notice.

But FBI agents came to believe that more documents remained in the house and that efforts had been made to obstruct their investigation. They returned on August 8 with a court-approved search warrant and collected more than 100 documents marked classified, including at the top secret level.

The person who spoke to the AP declined to reveal Nauta’s exact account to authorities. The Washington Post reported earlier this month that a Trump associate, since identified as Nauta, told the FBI that he had moved boxes at Trump’s explicit direction.

The New York Times, which reported Monday that prosecutors were seeking another interview with Nauta, also quoted a person briefed on the matter as saying that Nauta said he had acted at Trump’s direction. But the newspaper quoted another person who described Nauta as less specific about what he had been told.

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