A new report in the New York Times confirms that former President Donald Trump stored nearly two dozen boxes of documents in his White House residence before leaving office and failed to return them to the National Archives. These included letters from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

According to the report, “Where the articles ended is not clear.” Although the White House counsel’s office told Mr Trump’s last chief of staff Mark Meadows that “about two dozen boxes” worth of material in the residence needed to be sent back to the archives, some boxes were shipped to Florida instead. . Inside those boxes were letters from Kim Jong-un and documents marked “highly classified”.

The Times spoke to several people who confirmed that the boxes were stored in various locations prior to the FBI raid on the property at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago over the past 19 months.

The long feature recalls Trump’s final days in office as he refused to step down from power. This suggests that Meadows was responsible for returning the documents and contents of the boxes to the National Archives. According to people interviewed, Meadows confirmed that he would ensure the administration complies with the Presidential Records Act, which states that records generated in the Oval Office belong to taxpayers, although his focus was elsewhere.

As Trump’s term as president ended, the White House emailed all of his offices detailed instructions on how to return the documents. According to a source, Meadows followed up on those notes and encouraged the offices to follow the instructions. He also said he would speak with Trump about the record at his residence.

In early 2021 it became apparent that records were missing from the National Archives, prompting officials to reach out to members of Trump’s team. His priorities were a letter from Kim Jong-un and a letter left on the Resolute desk by former President Barack Obama to Trump during his transition to power. However, many of the documents were not recovered until January 2022, when officials collected 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago and forwarded the issue to the Justice Department, which has been investigating it ever since.

Elsewhere in the article it is confirmed that former Vice President Mike Pence did not leave office with any documents. It ends with an anecdote about President Joe Biden’s arrival in the Oval Office, where he received a two-page, handwritten letter from Trump. “The new president remarked that Mr Trump was kinder than he expected in the letter,” notes the Times. That letter has since been given to the National Archives.

The FBI has continued to investigate Trump since the Mar-a-Lago raid. The former president and his staff have claimed that the documents were actually declassified by a mysterious “permanent” declassification rule. Rolling Stone recently reported that the Fed is now investigating Trump’s alibi to see if anyone other than Trump has heard of it.

This week, a federal judge in Florida ordered a revision of the affidavit that led to a search of the Mar-a-Lago estate, clearing the way for its possible release. Judge Bruce Reinhart, who signed the search warrant executed by the FBI last Monday, ruled Thursday that the Justice Department has until noon next Thursday to file a revised version of the affidavit.

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