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Special counsel Jack Smith probed whether Trump hid more classified docs in Mar-a-Lago closet: report

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: In this aerial view, former U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen on September 14, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump's legal team is currently negotiating with the Justice Department regarding the selection of a Special Master to review documents, some marked Top Secret, seized when the FBI searched the compound. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Special counsel Jack Smith wanted to know whether former President Donald Trump hid even more classified national security documents in a locked closet at his Mar-a-Lago estate, according to a new report.

The “hidden room” apparently wasn’t opened by FBI agents who executed a search warrant on Aug. 8, 2022, and seized 102 sensitive intelligence files at Trump’s residence in Palm Beach, Fla., sources told ABC News.

The 45th president, 77, allegedly had a resort employee change the locks on the closet as one of his attorneys checked a basement storage room in a bid to comply with a federal subpoena and turned in some of the documents before the search, the sources said.

The room is reportedly located in Trump’s bedroom behind a dresser and TV.

One senior FBI official told the outlet that the search was conducted only in areas that may have contained classified government documents “based on information gathered throughout the course of the investigation.”

“Discussions took place that day about additional areas of the property and it was determined that actions already taken met the parameters of the search warrant,” the official said.

The line of questioning from prosecutors in Smith’s office was heavily pursued in the months leading up to the former president’s June 9, 2023, indictment, according to ABC.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung dismissed the report as a “Joe Biden-directed Witch Hunt.”

“These Crooked Joe Biden-directed Witch Hunts, assisted by fake news mainstream media, are just desperate attempts at election interference meant to try and disenfranchise voters because President Trump is dominating in the polls,” Cheung said in a statement.

“This is all vile politics by President Trump’s enemies because they will do everything in their power, including weaponizing lawfare, to stop the presumptive Republican nominee for President and next President of the United States.”

Neither Smith’s office nor the FBI immediately responded to a request for comment. Christopher Kise, Trump’s attorney in the Miami federal case, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Biden is also under federal investigation for hoarding sensitive papers at his office in the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., and next to his prized 1967 Corvette Stingray in the garage of his Delaware mansion.

One month after the Mar-a-Lago search, Biden, 81, said Trump’s alleged retention of the documents was “totally irresponsible” — but his attorneys failed to disclose his own files at both locations to federal authorities until after the 2022 midterm elections.

President Biden is also under federal investigation for hoarding sensitive papers at his office in the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C., and next to his prized 1967 Corvette Stingray in the garage of his Delaware mansion.

The FBI quietly searched the Penn Biden Center in November of that year as well as the president’s home and Rehoboth Beach vacation home in January 2023 — but documents were only found at the personal residence.

Special counsel Robert Hur is not expected to bring charges against the sitting president, according to reports.

Smith initially indicted Trump on 37 counts for allegedly retaining the documents — some of which included national defense information — by concealing them from both his lawyer and federal authorities who sought them.

The charges followed a protracted battle between Trump and the National Archives over many of the sensitive files in 2021, with the threat of a Justice Department investigation if the documents were not returned in a timely manner.

Federal prosecutors opened their investigation in March 2022, a grand jury was empaneled the following month and Trump was served with a subpoena for the files on May 11, according to the indictment.

One of Trump’s lawyers later handed over 38 classified documents to the FBI and Justice Department on June 3 — but prosecutors say valet Walt Nauta “at Trump’s direction” shifted boxes containing other files out of the storage room and back to the main residence without the attorney’s knowledge.

Nauta was charged as a co-defendant for conspiring to hide the documents, along with Mar-a-Lago property manager Carlos De Oliveira, who allegedly helped move some of the boxes and was told by Trump to delete security camera footage of the incident.

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