In defiance of that subpoena

Some of Trump’s lawyers may live to regret being his lawyers.

Two lawyers for former President Donald J. Trump are likely to become witnesses or targets in the investigation into how he hoarded documents marked as classified at his Florida estate — and secretly held onto some even after they claimed all sensitive materials had been returned, legal specialists said.

The lawyers, M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, handled Mr. Trump’s interactions with the government over a subpoena in May seeking additional material marked as classified. In a court filing late Tuesday, the Justice Department strongly suggested that people in Mr. Trump’s circle concealed documents in defiance of that subpoena, putting a spotlight on the role of his lawyers and raising questions about whether they had misled department officials and the F.B.I.

It’s because of all those hidden documents, you see.

During the visit, Mr. Trump’s representatives turned over 38 documents with classified markings and indicated that all the records had been kept in a storage room, that no other records were stored elsewhere and that all available boxes had been searched, prosecutors said.

According to the statement, Ms. Bobb signed on behalf of Mr. Trump that “based upon the information that has been provided to me,” all documents responsive to the subpoena were being returned after a “diligent” search.

Yet on Aug. 8, the F.B.I. found more than twice as many documents marked as classified than had been turned over in June, including some in Mr. Trump’s office. That fact, the Justice Department wrote, “calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification” — which also included a claim that no copies had been made of any files — “and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”

Lesson: never lie to the police or the FBI on behalf of Trump.

In its filing late Tuesday, the Justice Department noted that Mr. Trump’s lawyers had not been as cooperative as they could have been at the June 3 meeting, relaying what it considered a suspicious interaction.

“Critically, however, the former president’s counsel explicitly prohibited government personnel from opening or looking inside any of the boxes that remained in the storage room, giving no opportunity for the government to confirm that no documents with classification markings remained,” the filing said.

The Justice Department’s account clashes with that of Mr. Trump’s legal team. A complaint filed on Aug. 22 and signed by Mr. Corcoran and two other lawyers describes Mr. Trump and his team as providing “complete cooperation.” The complaint also claims that after Mr. Bratt asked to inspect the storage room, investigators were escorted there, and once their inspection was completed, an F.B.I. agent said: “Thank you. You did not need to show us the storage room, but we appreciate it. Now it all makes sense.”

Hmmmmm. Does that sound like something an FBI agent would have said? Or does it sound like something Trump would pretend an FBI agent said? Does it sound more like FBI-speak or Trump-speak? In my opinion it sounds more like the latter. A lot more. It sounds more like all those “Sir oh sir we can’t say enough about how amazing you are sir” remarks he was always reporting to us. That “You did not need to show us the storage room” sounds downright ludicrous in the circumstances.

6 Responses to “In defiance of that subpoena”