Federal investigators have asked multiple witnesses if they knew whether Donald Trump had stashed any highly sensitive government documents at Trump Tower in Manhattan or at his private club in Bedminster, New Jersey, a person familiar with the matter and another source briefed on the situation tell Rolling Stone.
The FBI, according to these sources, had also asked in recent months whether the ex-president had a habit of transporting classified documents from his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago to the other Trump properties. The feds specifically discussed both the New York City and Bedminster locations with certain witnesses.
More from Rolling Stone
“It was obvious they wanted to know if this went beyond just Mar-a-Lago,” the first source says.
The Justice Department declined a request for comment from Rolling Stone. Trump attorneys and a spokesperson for the former president did not respond to requests.
The interviews suggest that the Justice Department may believe that Trump’s retention of documents extended beyond Mar-a-Lago, though it’s unclear if there’s any evidence Trump is storing documents outside his Florida property.
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department informed Trump’s legal team it believes the former president may have taken more documents than the ones the FBI returned to the National Archives after its August Mar-a-Lago search. Trump attorney Christopher Kise reportedly suggested that the former president voluntarily conduct a search for any further missing documents at another unnamed Trump property, according to the Times.
The FBI has been quietly interviewing a number of former Trump associates as part of its inquiry into his retention of classified documents. In August, Rolling Stone reported that FBI agents had interviewed former Trump National Security Council staff and asked them whether they were aware of the so-called standing declassification order that Trump’s office has claimed the former president put in place for classified materials taken from the West Wing.
The increased law enforcement scrutiny since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago has prompted Trump to wonder aloud who in his circle could be helping the Justice Department’s investigation. In exchange with associates, Trump has asked whether anyone in MAGA world could be “wearing a wire” or if his phones are “tapped.” In private, associates of the former president told Rolling Stone that Trump remains focused on getting back “all” of the documents — even classified ones — taken by the FBI back, referring to them as “mine.”
Best of Rolling Stone