Former employee says Trump ordered Mar-a-Lago boxes to be moved

The testimony to the FBI and newly obtained surveillance footage most damning evidence for obstruction of justice charges

Former US president Donald Trump and three of his adult children face fraud and other charges in New York. AFP
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A former employee of Donald Trump has told federal agents the former president asked for boxes of records to be moved within his Florida residence after receiving a government subpoena demanding their return, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The testimony of the key witness, coupled with surveillance footage the Justice Department obtained, represent some of the strongest evidence of possible obstruction of justice by the former Republican president.

The FBI conducted a court-approved search on August 8 at Mr Trump's home at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, seizing more than 11,000 documents including about 100 marked as classified.

The employee who was working at Mr Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida was co-operating with the Justice Department and has been interviewed several times by federal agents, the Post reported.

The witness initially denied handling sensitive documents but in later conversations with agents admitted to moving boxes at Mr Trump’s request.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Mr Trump, said the administration of US President Joe Biden had "weaponised law enforcement”.

"Every other president has been given time and deference regarding the administration of documents, as the president has the ultimate authority to categorise records and what materials should be classified," Mr Budowich told the paper.

He accused the Justice Department of leaking "misleading and false information" to the media.

The document investigation is one of several legal woes Mr Trump is facing as he considers whether to run again for president in 2024.

New York state's attorney general recently filed a civil lawsuit accusing Mr Trump and three of his adult children of fraud and misrepresentation in preparing financial statements from the family property company.

The Trump Organisation is also set to go on trial on October 24 on New York state criminal tax fraud charges.

And in Georgia, a grand jury in Fulton County is investigating attempts by Mr Trump to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Updated: October 13, 2022, 12:07 AM
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