Timeline of the Trump Mar-a-Lago classified documents story

Donald Trump’s indictment comes nearly a year after FBI agents conducted their raid on Mar-a-Lago and turned over the classified documents that would lead to the former president’s formal indictment.

The incident began when Trump left office with records from his administration, in violation of federal law. It involved the appointment of a special counsel, multiple Trump aides testifying before a grand jury, and a fury of denials from the former president, who claims to be the victim of a political witch hunt.

Here’s a timeline of events:

January 20, 2021: Donald Trump leaves the White House as Joe Biden is sworn in as the country’s 46th president; Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago, his West Beach home.

May 2021: National Archives and Records Administration realizes some documents from Trump presidency are missing

Workers move boxes from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds, before President Donald Trump’s departure on January 14, 2021

December 2021: Archive requests the documents from the former president; in late December, a Trump representative informed the agency that another 12 boxes of plates that should have been turned over had been found at the former president’s club and residence in Mar-a-Lago and were ready for collection

January 18, 2022: Archive received 15 boxes of material stored at Mar-a-Lago, some of which were found to contain classified materials

The agency said it “identified items marked as classified national security information, down to the Top Secret level and including sensitive compartmentalized information and material for special access programs.”

In all, the boxes were found to contain 184 documents with secret markings, including 67 marked confidential, 92 secret, and 25 top secret.

February 8, 2022: The National Archives is issuing a public statement saying it is still seeking more Trump presidential records

February 9, 2022: The case is referred to the Ministry of Justice

February 10, 2022: US House of Representatives Oversight Committee announces an investigation into Trump’s handling of the documents

Donald Trump has claimed to be the victim of a political witch hunt

Donald Trump has claimed to be the victim of a political witch hunt

May 2022: After several back-and-forths with Trump’s legal team, the Justice Department is issuing a subpoena for additional records they believe are at the former president’s Florida home

Investigators believe that after that subpoena arrived, storage boxes, including some containing classified materials, were moved from a Mar-a-Lago storage area, so Trump personally examined some of them.

April 12, 2022: Archives informed Trump of his intention to provide the documents to the FBI at the request of the Justice Department. A Trump representative asked for an extension until April 29.

April 29, 2022: The Justice Department sent a letter to Trump’s lawyers requesting immediate access to the material, citing “important national security interests.”

“Access to the material is not only necessary for our ongoing criminal investigation, but the executive branch must also assess the potential harm arising from the apparent manner in which this material has been stored and transported and take necessary corrective action. the department writes.

May 10, 2022: Archives informed Trump’s lawyers that it would give the FBI access to the archives as early as May 12.

May 11, 2022: The Department of Justice has issued a subpoena for additional data.

June 2, 2022: Walt Nauta and two employees retrieve documents from a storage room. Hours later, Trump’s lawyers contact the DOJ and say they are welcome to visit and retrieve the documents

June 3, 2022: Three FBI agents and a DOJ attorney go to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve the additional material. They were given a single Redweld envelope, double-wrapped with tape, containing the documents, according to later court documents. That envelope contained 38 records with classification marks, including five documents marked confidential, 16 marked secret, and 17 marked top secret

The FBI raided Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home (above) on August 8, 2022

The FBI raided Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home (above) on August 8, 2022

August 5, 2022: DOJ applied for a search warrant for Mar-a-Lago, citing “probable cause” that additional presidential documents and documents containing classified information were left at Trump’s Florida home. Court documents show that the original search warrant application showed that officers believed “evidence of obstruction will be found at the property.”

August 8, 2022: FBI agents raid Mar-a-Lago: They recover 18 documents marked top secret, 54 marked classified, 31 marked confidential, and 11,179 government documents or photographs that had no classification marks.

August 22, 2022: Two weeks after the FBI’s search, Trump is separately asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for a so-called special master to review the documents, prompting the Justice Department’s 54-page response.

August 26, 2022: The Justice Department releases a heavily redacted affidavit — an affidavit outlining the evidence, likely giving law enforcement officers a reason to ask a judge to approve a search warrant — after media outlets sued for its release. A judge approved the release.

August 30, 2022: DoJ submits its response to Trump’s request for a special master review.

September 2, 2022: The FBI reveals in a police report that it recovered more than 11,000 government documents and photos during the Aug. 8 search of Trump’s estate, as well as 48 empty folders labeled “secret.”

US judge approves appointment of special master in Trump search case

Documents found in Mar-a-Lago during an August raid are on display

Documents found in Mar-a-Lago during an August raid are on display

Jack Smith was appointed special counsel in November to investigate Trump's handling of classified information

Jack Smith was appointed special counsel in November to investigate Trump’s handling of classified information

October 2022: Walt Nauta testifies against federal officials in the investigation; telling them that he had moved boxes at the request of the former president at a time when the government was seeking the return of classified materials

November 18, 2022: Jack Smith was appointed as special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland

March 2023: Trump communications assistant Margo Martin, who worked at the White House and then moved to Florida with Trump, appeared before the grand jury in Washington, D.C.

At least two dozen people — from staff at the Mar-a-Lago resort to members of Donald Trump’s inner circle at the Florida estate — are subpoenaed to testify

April 2023: About a dozen current and former U.S. Secret Service officials assigned to Trump testify before the grand jury

June 5, 2023: Trump’s legal team meets with Smith at the Justice Department

June 7, 2023: It has been revealed that a second Florida grand jury has heard testimony; Taylor Budowich, who has served as Trump’s spokesperson, appeared for it

June 2023: The Justice Department recently informed Donald Trump’s legal team that he is a target in a federal investigation into possible mishandling of classified documents

June 8, 2023: Trump announces in a post on his Truth Social platform that he has been charged with mishandling classified documents and has been subpoenaed before a federal judge in Miami