Allegedly, Former President Donald Trump sent out a private message directed at U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland just slightly before the Thursday afternoon press conference held by the Department of Justice, seemingly asking what he could try and do to help drop the various political tensions that have come to a head late last week in the wake of the raid from the FBI on Trump’s Floridian mansion.
Just before the start of the press conference, one person situated close to the former president spoke out to an official with the Justice Department in order to hand over a message to Garland.
As reported by The New York Times, the message that Trumped wished to be passed over to Garland was: “The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?”
As part of the press conference, Garland, who arrived at the venue 35 minutes late, only spoke for a few minutes and refused to take any questions from the gathered media.
“First, I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” stated Garland throughout the press conference. “Second, the Department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search, and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”
The linchpin of the investigation into the activities of former president Trump sits with a few potential criminal violations, which include violations of the Espionage Act, the entirely unlawful removal of government records, and the obstruction of justice in relation to trying to destroy documents.
Various sources stated to The New York Times that at least one of the lawyers from Trump’s legal team signed a written statement sent to the U.S. Department of Justice neat the start of summer that stated that all classified documents and boxes in a storage area at the mansion had been officially sent back to the federal government. Agents carried out their search of the storage area and of Trump’s office and residence on the property.
Federal investigators were able to find at least 4 sets of still top secret documents, 3 sets of secret documents, and 3 sets of confidential documents As they carried out their search of the home and the confiscated documents. The signed declaration, along with the 11 discovered pieces of classified information that were found still on the grounds of the property, could end up meaning that either Trump or those on his legal team lied to the federal government and its investigators.
Trump has repeatedly expressed that he, while still president, declassified all the documents that were being kept at his Florida home, which could have legally been done at the time, but a separate report from The New York Times highlighted that when that usually happens, all classified markers and stamps are removed from the documents. The report went on to state that none of the current criminal violations that Trump is being investigated for have any relation to the document’s classified status. This means that Trump could still end up being slammed with a different crime even if he did legally declassify the documents being stored in his mansion.