Two months before an FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, one of his lawyers certified that no classified documents were at the estate, according to Fox News.
Fox attributed its information to “two sources with knowledge of the investigation.”
A report in The New York Times also said that a Trump lawyer told the Justice Department that anything marked classified that had been in a storage area at Mar-a-Lago had been returned.
The Times cited “four people with knowledge of the document.”
The claim contradicts reports that the FBI seized information marked as classified in the raid, which took place last Monday.
The Times report said that the letter attesting to the lack of classified material was written on June 3, when Jay Bratt, a top counterintelligence official in the Justice Department’s national security division, visited Mar-a-Lago as part of a long-running dispute over documents Trump took with him to Florida after leaving Washington.
The Times report said Bratt met with two attorneys representing Trump — M. Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb, based on what the Times said it was told by “people briefed on the meeting.”
At that time, the Times reported, Corcoran and Bobb showed the Justice Department team several boxes of material.
Bratt and his aides left with material that had been marked classified, and at that time the declaration from one lawyer that all classified material was handed over was made, the Times reported.
The Times said it was after this that Bratt urged Corcoran to have a more secure lock on the room, which was done.
Fox reported that Trump attended at least part of the June 3 meeting.
Taylor Budowich, a Trump representative, criticized the FBI search in a statement as an “unprecedented and unnecessary raid” and a “Democrat-fabricated witch hunt,” according to Reuters.
The National Archives has said at least 15 boxes of records were recovered, including some classified material, according to CNN.
The raid stirred a political firestorm.
“There is political bias within the FBI, and I think it’s legitimate to raise the question about …. the way President Trump has been treated,” Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said Friday, according to the New York Post.