Newly revealed video and photo evidence obtained during the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate nearly a year ago has emerged after the unsealing of a search warrant by a judge.
A federal magistrate judge unsealed additional sections of the affidavit used by the FBI to obtain the warrant, shedding light on the unique nature of the operation conducted at Trump’s private club and residence in Florida.
“The newly unredacted sections of the affidavit suggested that prosecutors had based their search, in part, on surveillance footage from cameras near a storage room in the basement of Mar-a-Lago showing Walt Nauta, a personal aide to Mr. Trump, moving dozens of boxes in and out of the room days before federal prosecutors arrived to collect any sensitive records still in Mr. Trump’s possession,” the New York Times reported.
“Much of the material in the affidavit unsealed on Wednesday had already been made public in the expansive indictment of Mr. Trump and Mr. Nauta issued in Miami last month,” the report continued. “That indictment charged the former president with 31 counts of illegally retaining national defense information and a separate count of conspiring with Mr. Nauta to obstruct the government’s efforts to reclaim them.
“The judge who ordered the unsealing, Bruce E. Reinhart, had issued two previous orders unsealing separate portions of the warrant affidavit in response to media requests,” the NYT report added.
In the warrant, the photo description says: “The purpose of the photograph was to show FPOTUS the volume of boxes that remained in the STORAGE ROOM. The STORAGE-PHOTO, which appears below, captures approximately sixty-one of the FPOTUS BOXES located in the STORAGE ROOM.”
The warrant also includes elaborate descriptions of surveillance footage that captures Nauta, a co-defendant with Trump, relocating boxes from a storage room.
The warrant adds:
By reviewing the camera footage provided by the Trump Organization in response to the subpoena, the FBI has determined the following: On May 24, 2022, WITNESS 5 is observed exiting the ANTEROOM doorway with three boxes.
On May 30, 2022, four days after WITNESS 5’s interview with the FBI during which the location of boxes was a significant subject of questioning, WITNESS 5 is observed exiting the ANTEROOM doorway with approximately fifty Bankers boxes, consistent with the description of the FPOTUS BOXES. FBI did not observe this quantity of boxes being returned to the STORAGE ROOM through the ANTEROOM entrance in its review of the footage.
The next day, on June 1, 2022, WITNESS 5 is observed carrying eleven brown cardboard boxes out the ANTEROOM entrance. One box did not have a lid on it and appeared to contain papers.
Below is a new photo showing 61 boxes of material in a Mar-a-Lago storeroom:
Trump has been charged with 37 counts of allegedly mishandling classified information by special counsel Jack Smith. On Monday, the former president’s legal team filed a request with Aileen Cannon, the federal judge overseeing the case and a Trump appointee, to delay the trial until after the 2024 election.
On Friday, Smith’s team responded harshly, arguing that Cannon “should not even consider” the request from Team Trump:
The United States files this reply in support of its Motion for Continuance and Proposed Revised Scheduling Order (ECF No. 34, “Mot.”). In their response in opposition to the Motion (ECF No. 66, “Resp.”), Defendants Trump and [Walt] Nauta claim unequivocally that they cannot receive a fair trial prior to the conclusion of the next presidential election, urge the Court to withdraw the current scheduling Order (ECF No. 28), and request that the Court not even consider a new trial date until some unspecified later time. Resp. at 9, 10.
There is no basis in law or fact for proceeding in such an indeterminate and open-ended fashion, and the Defendants provide none. For the reasons discussed below and in the Government’s Motion, the Court should reset the trial date in this action for December 11, 2023.