According to media reports, US investigators doubt that ex-President Donald Trump has returned all government documents stored by him. The Department of Justice has informed Trump's lawyers about the assessment in the past few weeks, reported the "New York Times", the financial service Bloomberg and the news channel CNN on Friday night. They had pointed out to the Trump side that all papers had to be handed over to the government, it said, citing informed people.
In early August, the Federal Police FBI searched Trump's property in the US state of Florida. The FBI confiscated various classified documents, some with the highest level of secrecy. According to the law, this material should have been given to the National Archives. By keeping the documents in his private home after leaving office, Trump could have made himself liable to prosecution.
Several dozen empty folders with a secret note were also found during the search. This raised the question of what happened to the papers originally contained within. According to the new media reports, it was initially unclear how the government could proceed. One option is another search, according to Bloomberg.
The Trump side and the government are already arguing in court about the August search and the documents seized. At the request of Trump's lawyers, a judge in Florida appointed a special auditor for the documents. His job is to first filter out those 11,000 documents that could be protected by attorney-client privilege or be Trump's private property. The Ministry of Justice sees this as slowing down the investigations and filed an objection to the appeal of the special auditor.
An appeals court has already allowed the authorities to further evaluate around 100 confiscated documents with a secret note for the investigation. Trump's side went to the US Supreme Court on Tuesday to stop it.