Justice Department pursuing obstruction case against Trump over Mar-a-Lago documents case, report claims

DoJ has appointed special counsel to oversee potential prosecution of Trump

John Bowden
Washington DC
Monday 03 April 2023 09:25 BST
Trump supporters hit streets in Mar-a-Lago after former president indicted

The Department of Justice is reportedly building a case around the issue of obstruction of justice, as it investigates Donald Trump for potentially mishandling classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago.

The Washington Post reported the development first on Sunday, citing multiple sources familiar with the ongoing investigation.

According to the Post, Mr Trump is under investigation for potentially obstructing authorities as they attempted to secure all the classified materials retained by Mr Trump without the permission of the National Archives from his days in the White House. Some of those retained documents had classified markings, prompting the review into whether any classified information was mishandled.

Were Mr Trump to be indicted on a charge or charges of obstructing justice by the Department of Justice, it would illustrate the problems caused by Mr Trump’s own stubborn refusal to acquiesce to demands from the federal government to return the documents in question. When similar troves were discovered at the residences of Mike Pence and Joe Biden, attorneys for those two men handed them over immediately.

It would also, however, potentially play into the hands of the former president and his allies, who have already argued that the indictment brought against him in New York is politically motivated and an effort to bog down Mr Trump as he pursues a 2024 bid for the presidency.

To counter that very narrative, the DoJ has appointed a special counsel charged with overseeing the decision whether or not to prosecute the former president. Mr Trump has baselessly attacked the special counsel and the agency as corrupt.

Last week, a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Mr Trump on charges related to his 2016 hush payments to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, ahead of that year’s presidential election. Mr Trump will formally indicted on Tuesday, and is scheduled speak from Mar-a-Lago later that evening.

He remains under separate investigations in Georgia and at the federal level for his actions taken to thwart Mr Biden’s lawful election victory in 2020, both of which are thought to involve much more serious crimes than either the Manhattan or classified documents cases.

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