Donald Trump arrives at a press conference after his appearance in court over an alleged hush money payment at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. (Archive photo) © Chandan Khanna/AFP
Donald Trump's document affair continues to escalate: In his estate, an employee is said to have deliberately flooded an IT room and destroyed evidence.
Palm Beach – When the water of a swimming pool at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence was drained last October, a flood occurred that affected a server room where surveillance video was stored. Chance? Possibly, but several sources "familiar with the matter" contradict this official version.
At least one witness was questioned by the prosecutor's office as part of the investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents about the flooded server room, one of the sources told CNN. The incident, which has only now become known, occurred about two months after the FBI seized hundreds of documents from the ex-president's estate. At the time, Trump had taken a number of government documents from the White House with him before he cleared it for official Joe Biden.
Now investigators are trying to find out whether Trump or some close associates tried to destroy evidence or obstruct the Justice Department's investigation. So far, the maintenance worker of the pool is said to be under suspicion. According to CNN, however, some witnesses also say that the servers were not damaged by the flood – but nothing is officially known yet.
Trump lawyers rumble: "Outrageous and unlawful" investigations against ex-presidents
According to the sources, investigators have asked Trump employees in recent weeks whether there may be gaps in the surveillance material handed over so far and whether it could even have been manipulated. This was first reported by the New York Times. However, the office of special counsel Jack Smith did not want to confirm these rumors.
At a meeting between Smith and Trump's legal counsel, the ex-president's legal team tried to downplay the burden of proof, suggesting that some prosecutors had committed criminal wrongdoing. "No president of the United States has ever been investigated in such an outrageous and unlawful manner for no reason in the history of our country," said a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland written by Trump's lawyers Jim Trusty and John Rowley.
Trump himself had published the letter without comment on his social network Truth Social. The Republican criticizes the investigations against him as politically motivated and has long railed that it is merely an attempt by his opponents to prevent him from returning to the White House. (nak)