An employee at Donald Trump’s luxurious Mar-a-Lago residence reportedly caused a major flood, inadvertently inundating a room housing crucial computer servers containing surveillance video logs. While the motive behind the flooding remains unclear, federal prosecutors investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents have deemed the incident suspicious.
Sources familiar with the matter revealed that witnesses have been questioned about the flooded server room, implying its significance in the ongoing federal investigation. Surprisingly, the incident occurred just two months following the retrieval of hundreds of classified documents from the Florida estate by the FBI, and as prosecutors obtained surveillance footage to track the movement of White House records within the resort.
Although the IT equipment in the flooded room was fortunately undamaged, the incident, coupled with various conversations and actions by Trump’s employees during the investigation, has piqued the interest of prosecutors. Multiple sources indicate that these circumstances might contribute to a potential obstruction conspiracy case, with investigators probing whether Trump or a select group of individuals associated with him attempted to interfere with the Justice Department’s evidence collection.
The investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents and potential obstruction of justice has compelled at least two dozen individuals, including Mar-a-Lago resort staff and members of Trump’s inner circle, to testify before a federal grand jury. Notably, the special counsel’s office, led by Jack Smith, has been focusing their obstruction inquiries on Trump, his close aide Walt Nauta, and a maintenance worker who assisted Nauta in relocating boxes of classified documents before federal agents conducted their search last summer.
The maintenance worker, believed to be the person responsible for draining the pool that caused the IT room flooding, recently spoke with investigators, and their phone has been seized. Both the maintenance worker and Nauta, who allegedly received specific directions from above, including Trump himself, regarding obstructing the investigation, have yet to face any charges.
The scrutiny surrounding the surveillance footage at Mar-a-Lago has also become a focal point for prosecutors. Witnesses have been questioned regarding potential gaps or tampering in the turned-over footage, raising concerns about the reliability of the evidence. Prosecutors have honed in on the conversations between Trump’s employees and their discussions about the surveillance system after the initial subpoena last summer.
Furthermore, the investigation has shed light on an instance where Trump’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, searched a storage room for classified documents in response to a subpoena from the Justice Department. Corcoran discovered around three dozen classified documents and promptly handed them over to the FBI. However, subsequent surveillance footage indicated that Nauta and the maintenance worker had been moving document boxes, including into the storage room, just before Corcoran’s search. The FBI later uncovered over a hundred more classified documents with markings, implying a potential effort to conceal and remove government records.
These alarming developments have prompted prosecutors to subpoena Corcoran, challenging attorney-client privilege due to suspicions that Trump may have involved him in criminal activities. Although Corcoran is not considered a target of the investigation, he has been ordered to provide additional testimony, further intensifying the legal complexities of the Mar-a-Lago case.
Lawyers representing Trump held a meeting on Thursday with top officials from the Justice Department to express concerns about alleged misconduct in the criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of national security materials and potential obstruction of justice. The meeting involved Trump lawyers Jim Trusty, John Rowley, and Lindsay Halligan, who presented a general case for why Trump should not be charged in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
They also raised accusations of prosecutorial misconduct by some members of the special counsel’s team, including an allegation that a justice department official tried to pressure a witness. But the meeting is not expected to significantly impact the ongoing investigation.
“No president of the United States has ever, in the history of our country, been baselessly investigated in such an outrageous and unlawful fashion,” said the letter written by Trusty and Rowley.
Recent developments in the investigation include prosecutors questioning witnesses before the grand jury about Trump allegedly revealing national security materials, including a document on military action against Iran. They are attempting to determine if this document is the same one Trump referred to in an audio recording where he claimed he could not discuss it as he did not declassify it while in office, despite believing he should have done so. The investigation is also examining whether Trump’s failure to fully comply with a subpoena last year, demanding the return of any classified documents, was a deliberate act of obstruction.
In June of last year, Corcoran discovered 38 classified documents in a storage room at Mar-a-Lago and informed the justice department that no additional materials were present. However, the FBI seized 101 more classified documents several months later, raising questions about the completeness of the initial response to the subpoena.
Corcoran has reportedly expressed feeling misled in his response to the subpoena, as he had inquired about searching other areas of Mar-a-Lago, including Trump’s office, but was discouraged from doing so. His notes indicate that he informed Trump about the requirement to return all classified documents in his possession.
As the investigation unfolds, the flood incident at Mar-a-Lago continues to fuel speculation about a potential cover-up and obstruction. The actions and conversations surrounding the flood, combined with the suspicious movements of classified documents, paint a disturbing picture of possible interference with the Justice Department’s pursuit of evidence.
Information for this story was found via CNN, The Guardian, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.