Donald Trump Allegedly Stored Classified Documents in Bathroom, Among Other Places, at Mar-a-Lago

Trump was indicted on Thursday after an FBI search turned up several classified documents — including some marked Top Secret — at the former president's Mar-a-Lago estate

<p>U.S. Department of Justice via Getty;  Anna Moneymaker/Getty </p>

U.S. Department of Justice via Getty; Anna Moneymaker/Getty

The classified documents Donald Trump was indicted for allegedly mishandling after leaving the White House at the end of his presidency were found in a bathroom, among other places, inside his private Mar-a-Lago club.

The former president's indictment by a federal grand jury on Thursday detailed that Trump, 76, retained over 100 classified documents with some of the most sensitive topics originating from seven intelligence agencies, including the CIA, NSA and Department of Defense.

The documents were stored in "a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, [Trump’s] bedroom, and a storage room" — all at Mar-a-Lago — per the document.

In the two months after Trump left office, dozens of boxes of documents were placed on stage in Mar-a-Lago’s White and Gold Ballroom, which was regularly the host of large-scale events, the indictment added.

Related: The Trump Indictment Charges and Allegations: Full Recap



Boxes of documents placed in the bathroom and shower of the Lake Room were relocated to the ground floor of Mar-a-Lago. The connecting hallway could be accessed from "multiple outside entrances," prosecutors argued in the indictment, per CNN. Documents were also kept in a storage closet.

Walt Nauta, Trump's personal aide who now faces charges as well, at one point discovered that some of the boxes of classified files stored there had toppled over, revealing one document labeled, “SECRET/REL TO USA, FVEY,” which denoted that the information in the document was releasable only to the Five Eyes intelligence alliance: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

According to the indictment, Nauta texted another Mar-a-Lago employee two photos of the toppled documents, writing: “I opened the door and found this…” The unnamed employee wrote back: “Oh no oh no,” and “I’m sorry potus had my phone.”

Witnesses told prosecutors that Trump had a habit of showing classified documents to visitors, according to a Washington Post report.

The indictment stated that tens of thousands of people could have accessed the documents, per CNN.

Related: Donald Trump Reportedly Caught on Tape Talking About Keeping Classified Document After Leaving White House

Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock
Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

Trump’s second indictment for allegedly mishandling the classified documents made him the first U.S. president to face federal criminal charges. He was previously indicted on Mar. 30 for allegedly paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels while he was the presidential candidate in 2016.

Trump himself announced the indictment on his social media site Truth Social Thursday evening, denying wrongdoing in the process.

On Friday afternoon, the historic 38-count indictment was unsealed, providing further detail on what special counsel Jack Smith uncovered during his exhaustive probe — plus Nauta’s alleged role.

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The indictment comes after the FBI conducted a search at the former president's Mar-a-Lago home on Aug. 8 as part of a criminal investigation that began after the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) revealed in February 2022 that officials had removed from the property 15 boxes of documents that should have been handed over at the end of the Trump presidency.

A search and seizure warrant later unsealed by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida revealed that Trump was being investigated for potentially obstructing justice and violating the Espionage Act. The warrant also revealed that the FBI's search had turned up several classified documents — including some marked Top Secret.

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