- The National Archives notified Trump’s attorneys that the FBI would review White House records after weeks of delay.
- Trump’s lawyers previously requested time to review documents, claiming executive privilege.
- Trump’s inner circle anticipated that “Mar-a-Lago is a big problem,” The Washington Post reported.
People close to Donald Trump worried that the former president was getting himself into legal trouble, weeks before the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago to seize official White House documents, according to a new report from The Washington Post.
Since June, about a month after the National Archives and Records Administration notified Trump’s team that federal investigators would begin reviewing a batch of records that were returned at the beginning of the year, Trump’s attorneys feared a mounting legal disaster for the former president.
One person in Trump’s circle said “Mar-a-Lago is a big problem,” according to The Post.
Trump and his attorneys knew the FBI was about to get involved with the documents debacle since April, based on a May 10 letter between the National Archives and Tump’s attorneys.
Debra Steidel, acting archivist for the National Archives, told Trump’s lawyers, including Evan Corcoran, that she would allow the FBI to review the batch of documents Trump returned in January, following weeks of delay.
“It has now been four weeks since we first informed you of our intent to provide the FBI access to the boxes so that it and others in the Intelligence Community can conduct their reviews,” Steidel wrote.
Trump’s attorneys previously asked for more time to review the documents to see if any of them fell within the purview of executive privilege, according to the letter.
However, Steidel wrote that the assistant attorney general has helped determine that “there is no basis for the former President to make a ‘protective assertion of executive privilege.'”
“I have therefore decided not to honor the former President’s “protective” claim of privilege,” Steidel wrote. “For the same reasons, I have concluded that there is no reason to grant your request for a further delay before the FBI and others in the Intelligence Community begin their reviews.”
FBI officials would raid Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on August 8. The letter revealed that Trump had taken more than 700 pages of classified documents.
A spokesperson for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.