A lawyer for former President Donald Trump reportedly said he was “waved off” of searching his Mar-a-Lago office for classified documents after the feds issued a subpoena demanding their return.
Attorney Evan Corcoran told two colleagues he was barred from looking for secret documents in Trump’s personal office at the Florida resort club as he sought to respond to the subpoena, the Guardian reported Tuesday.
The new report did not say whether it was Trump himself or some other aide who told Corcoran not to search the office, or why he complied with the request.
Corcoran wound up searching only a basement storage unit and wound up falsely telling the feds he conducted a “diligent search” of the entire property that turned up only 38 documents, a fraction of the cache of more than 100 that Trump improperly kept.
The new report comes as special counsel Jack Smith reportedly has all but finished investigating the documents case and is preparing to decide whether to seek indictments of Trump and perhaps others.
Evidence trickling into the public eye offer strong signs that Trump sought to obstruct the probe into the documents, particularly by defying the May 2022 subpoena for their return.
The former president took thousands of documents with him to Mar-a-Lago when he left office in 2021.
After months of haggling with federal archives officials, he returned several boxes. But prosecutors demanded the rest, prompting the subpoena.
Corcoran was supposed to search anywhere on the club that the documents might have been stashed. But he was apparently steered away from Trump’s office, where the former president kept at least some of the sensitive documents.
Trump reportedly ordered several boxes returned to the storage room on June 2, 2022, the day before federal prosecutors were expected to come to pick up the documents found by Corcoran.
Prosecutors reportedly consider the timing of the switch to be potent evidence of criminal intent to obstruct the probe.
An FBI search of Mar-a-Lago carried out last Aug. 8 turned up more than 100 classified documents.
It’s not known why Trump wanted to keep the documents and risk prosecution. New reports say he kept some secret documents in plain view on his desk and showed some to visitors, both practices that would appear to violate the Espionage Act.
The documents case has no known ties to Trump’s indictment on New York state charges related to hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Smith is also investigating Trump’s effort to overturn his loss in the 2020 election, which culminated in the violent Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.