A low-level Trump Organization employee received an objective letter from special counsel Jack Smith regarding the investigation into former President Donald J. Trump’s handling of classified documents, suggesting the employee could face charges and confirming that the broader investigation is continuing, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The employee, whom the person declined to identify, received the letter in recent weeks after appearing before a federal grand jury in Washington in May. Prosecutors have been trying to establish whether any of Trump’s aides or employees interfered with government attempts to obtain security camera footage from Mar-a-Lago, the private club and the former president’s Florida residence.
Footage from cameras at Mar-a-Lago has been at the center of the case against Trump and was a key part of the evidence used to obtain a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago last August. During that search, the FBI made off with a trove of more than 100 classified documents that Trump had taken with him from the White House and that he kept even after receiving a subpoena demanding their return.
Surveillance footage was also key to the indictment Smith’s office filed last month against Trump and his personal assistant, Walt Nauta, in the Southern District of Florida. The indictment charges both men with conspiring to obstruct government efforts to recover dozens of highly classified documents and only Mr. Trump with illegally withholding the documents after he left office.
Prosecutors use target cards to inform subjects of criminal investigations that they could be charged with crimes. Although it’s unclear what charges the Trump Organization employee might face, the special counsel’s office has been looking into whether the employee’s grand jury testimony was truthful, the person familiar with the matter said.
The target letter sent to the employee was previously reported by ABC News.
An attorney for the employee, Stanley Woodward Jr., declined to comment on the letter.
As part of their ongoing investigation, prosecutors questioned additional witnesses and sought more surveillance camera footage, according to a person familiar with the matter. Prosecutors have also asked questions about boxes of documents being moved not only at Mar-a-Lago but also at other Trump-owned properties in Florida, including Trump National Doral Golf Club near Miami and Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, someone else. familiar with the matter, he said.
The New York Times recently reported that despite the charges brought against Trump and Nauta, the grand jury in Miami that delivered the indictments was still issuing new subpoenas for documents, indicating that the investigation was active. In a court filing Thursday, Smith’s office confirmed that prosecutors had interviewed witnesses on June 23, just weeks after Trump and Nauta were indicted.
Prosecutors accused Trump of playing what amounted to a racket game with dozens of boxes of presidential records and classified material that had been kept in a basement storage area after initially being placed in various areas around Mar- a-Lago, including a ballroom. And a bathroom.
The indictment alleges that after a grand jury subpoena was issued in May 2022 requesting the return of all classified materials in Mr. Trump’s possession, Mr. Nauta moved boxes in and out of the storage area on multiple occasions at Mr. Trump’s request, and that the number of boxes that were removed was much greater than the number that was returned.
The case against Mr. Trump and Mr. Nauta is moving forward in court even as the investigation continues. The supervising judge, Aileen M. Cannon, will soon make a decision on when to schedule the trial, a matter that could have significant legal and political consequences.
Trump’s lawyers asked Judge Cannon this week to postpone the trial indefinitely, a move that could delay it until after the 2024 election. If that happens and Trump wins the race, he could try to pardon himself after taking office. or have your attorney general dismiss the case.
Prosecutors working for Mr. Smith responded to the request for a delay on Thursday, telling Judge Cannon there was “no basis of fact or law to proceed in such an indeterminate and open manner.”