Confirmed: Trump Really Did Take Classified Documents to Mar-a-Lago

The Justice Department is now involved.

Oliver Contreras/ZUMA

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The National Archives confirmed on Friday that classified national security records were found in the 15 boxes former President Donald Trump had improperly brought with him to Mar-a-Lago. This, once again, raises serious questions about what Trump could be so desperate to keep from the public, as allegations of possible violations of presidential record-keeping rules continue to mount. 

In a letter addressed to House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), which was first reported by the New York Times, the agency said that the Justice Department was now looking into the matter.

The discovery of classified information comes amid renewed scrutiny over Trump’s potential failure to comply with the Presidential Records Act. That includes a report from Maggie Haberman last week that clumps of wet paper routinely clogged a toilet in Trump’s White House—a discovery that staffers believed to be an effort by Trump to destroy documents—as well as previous claims that Trump would eat pieces of papers that he had ripped up in the Oval Office. Meanwhile, Trump has also furiously attempted to shield records related to the House select committee’s investigation into the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. 

As my colleague David Corn wrote, it would be an uphill battle to prosecute and consequently bar Trump from running for office even if he was found guilty of flouting record-keeping rules. Could the confirmation today that he mishandled classified information change the calculus on that? Unclear. But it sure sheds one helluva hypocritical light on the lock-her-up crowd.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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