Ex-federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said Saturday that the unsealed inventory list showing federal investigators found personal items of former President Donald Trump with classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home means prosecutors can argue that the ex-president personally handled the materials.
A judge on Friday unsealed an inventory list showing what FBI investigators took during last month’s search of Trump’s Florida residence. According to CNN, the list revealed confidential and classified documents at the property had been mixed together with items including newspaper and magazine articles, clothing, and gifts.
During an interview on CNN, Mariotti was asked about the state of the documents found at Mar-a-Lago.
“You mentioned the folders with the classified markings being among the things that were recovered. What did you make of the fact that there were all sorts of random stuff in there too—the magazines, the gifts? That was unexpected,” CNN host Boris Sanchez said.
“I think that’s right…It goes to show the way in which these documents were kept, it goes to show who was the possessor and owner of these documents. The fact that they’re mixed in let’s say with passports, they’re mixed in with Time magazine covers—all of that will be shown in evidence at trial to show that the former president was the one who actually possessed these documents,” Mariotti said.
He added: “It wasn’t an aide off acting on their own without his authorization, it wasn’t something where he had no idea what was in his office. He was personally handling these documents himself and he was the one who decided to keep them.”
The former president has denied any wrongdoing following the FBI’s raid, and characterized the law enforcement action as part of a “witch hunt” to target him.
Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s press office for comment.
The inventory list also showed that Trump had 48 empty folders that had been labeled as containing “classified” materials. Legal experts said that this detail raises suspicion.
“Even the best case scenario with the empty folders is that Trump (almost certainly – who else would have the gall to do it?)— riffled (sic) through the classified docs to see what he had. This undoes the image of just scooping them up along w/ shirts and M&Ms and keeping them in boxes,” former federal prosecutor Harry Litman tweeted Friday.
“It’s the empty classified folders that are of most concern. Where are the contents? Trump has not addressed that at all in all his bluster and obfuscation. What were you doing with these?” ex-federal prosecutor Andrew Weissman asked.