Washington DC: The FBI investigation into top-secret government information discovered at Mar-a-Lago is zeroing in on the question of whether former President Donald Trump’s team criminally obstructed the probe. A new document alleges that government records had been concealed and removed and that law enforcement officials were misled about what was still there.
The allegation does not necessarily mean that Trump or anyone else will ultimately face charges. But it could pose the most direct legal threat to Trump or those in his orbit, in part because the Justice Department has historically viewed obstruction as an aggravating factor that tilts in favor of bringing charges in investigations involving the mishandling of classified information.
“It goes to the heart of trying to suborn the very integrity of our criminal justice system,” said David Laufman, who once oversaw the same Justice Department counterintelligence section now responsible for the Mar-a-Lago investigation.
The latest Justice Department motion in the case is focused less on the removal last year of classified information from the White House to Mar-a-Lago and more on the events of this past spring. That’s when law enforcement officials tried — unsuccessfully — to get all documents back and were assured, falsely, that everything had been accounted for after a “diligent search.”
The Justice Department has stated in court filings that, besides investigating crimes related to the mishandling of national defense information and other documents, it is also looking into whether anyone committed obstruction.