A former White House assistant to Donald Trump has told investigators the former president would often write to-do lists for her on classified documents.
Molly Michael, who was Trump's aide from 2018 to 2022, told investigators that “more than once,” she received requests or tasks from Trump written on the back of notecards with visible classification markings used to brief Trump about phone calls with foreign leaders and international matters.
FBI Missed Memos in Initial Sweep of Mar-a-Lago
The notecards were allegedly at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate when the FBI raided the property on August 8, 2022, but the FBI did not take the materials. When Michael returned to Mar-a-Lago to clean up her office space the next day, she found the documents underneath a drawer organizer and handed them to the FBI, sources told ABC News.
Michael also told federal investigators she grew increasingly concerned with how Trump handled requests from the National Archives to return all government documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago estate. When Trump heard the FBI wanted to interview Michael, he told her, “You don't know anything about the boxes.”
Michael recounted that by the end of 2021, Trump had at least 90 boxes of confidential materials from his time in the White House moved into a basement storage room at Mar-a-Lago and that she and fellow Trump aide Walt Nauta were tasked with bringing boxes to Trump's residence for him to review.
Trump's Claims About Documents Easily Disproven
But then, after the National Archives referred the matter to the FBI after finding almost 200 classified documents in the 15 boxes Trump agreed to turn over, The former president became reluctant to cooperate with the agency and asked Michael to spread the message that no more boxes existed.
As Trump continued to claim there were no more boxes, Michael pointed out that many people knew otherwise because they had all seen more than 15 boxes.
Michael later told investigators she believed Trump's claims were “easily” disproven and knew they were false because he knew the contents of those boxes better than anyone else and had seen a photograph of the storage room in the estate with about 90 boxes.
Special Counsel Jack Smith's indictment against Trump alleges the tycoon asked one of his attorneys at the time, “Wouldn't it be better if we just told them we don't have anything here?”
According to ABC News, Michael is believed to be “Trump Employee 2” in special counsel Jack Smith's indictment and is described as someone who handled many of Trump's White House-era boxes at Mar-a-Lago and provided Trump with photos of those boxes.
Trump pleaded not guilty in June to 37 counts of mishandling classified materials after prosecutors claimed he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing information on subjects from nuclear secrets to the nation's defense capabilities and tried to thwart the government's efforts to get the documents back.
Trump has denied all charges and has called the probe a political witch hunt.
A Trump spokesperson told ABC that the information provided by sources to the broadcaster was obtained via “illegal leaks,” lacks “proper context and relevant information,” and that “President Trump did nothing wrong, has always insisted on truth and transparency, and acted in a proper manner, according to the law.”
Source: ABC News