Special prosecutor Jack Smith, an appointee of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, has launched a flurry of new grand jury subpoenas seeking video evidence from Mar-a-Lago in the ongoing case investigating President Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.
Sources told CNN that Smith is specifically asking staff of the Trump Organization about how they handled surveillance footage that purports to show employees of the former president carrying boxes of unspecified contents to and from rooms within the Florida compound. Previous footage zeroed in on employee Walt Nauta as he moved documents out of a storage closet.
Analysts on CNN broke down why prosecutors believe the handling of the footage may portend whether an obstruction of justice occurred. The latest subpoenas, building on a previous round in March, likely indicate prosecutors believe additional evidence can still be gleaned.
CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig joins @andersoncooper to discuss special counsel Jack Smith's office reportedly looking into the handling of surveillance footage from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort after the Trump Org received a subpoena last summer for the footage. Watch: pic.twitter.com/0TwBfYeZCw
— CNN (@CNN) May 4, 2023
When potentially sensitive documents were first reported last year to be inside President Trump’s Florida residence, President Joe Biden refused to comment on whether or not documents were mishandled.
“It depends on the circumstance – for example, I have in my home a cabined-off space that is completely secure,” Biden said back in August. “It depends on the documents and it depends on how secure everything is.”
Not long after, the White House admitted that President Biden had stored up to 10 classified documents at his Delaware home that should have been maintained by government record keepers. The president’s staff distinguished his error with that of his predecessor by saying he took steps to turn over the documents while the National Archives agency sent multiple requests to President Trump that were not acknowledged.
Attorney General Garland is separately overseeing an investigation into the January 6, 2021 riots at the Capitol and appointed Smith to distance himself from appearing to criminally investigate the Republican Party’s leading candidate for president.