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Trump lawyer testified to grand jury in December in classified documents probe

Published 03/23/2023, 11:33 PM
Updated 03/24/2023, 05:16 AM
© Reuters. Former U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on education as he holds a campaign rally with supporters, in Davenport, Iowa, U.S. March 13, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

By Jacqueline Thomsen

(Reuters) - An attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump voluntarily testified before a Washington, D.C., federal grand jury in December 2022 on efforts to find any remaining classified documents at Trump's properties, the lawyer said on Thursday.

Attorney Tim Parlatore testified as part of a federal criminal investigation into classified documents retained at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort. Parlatore told Reuters that he appeared before the grand jury to explain to them "everything we did to comply" with a subpoena seeking any classified documents still in Trump's possession after he left office.

Parlatore said he organized searches of Trump's properties "to ensure full and legal compliance" with the subpoena for the documents. He also alleged he witnessed prosecutorial misconduct as he appeared before the grand jury. ABC News first reported on Parlatore's grand jury appearance.

When asked for a comment, a spokesperson for Trump directed Reuters to Parlatore's remarks. A spokesperson for special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the classified documents investigation, did not immediately return a request for comment.

The U.S. Justice Department said in court filings in 2022 that Trump was under investigation for his retention of sensitive government records after leaving office in January 2021, including whether he violated the Espionage Act that makes it a crime to release information harmful to national security.

Investigators were also looking into potential unlawful obstruction of the probe, the department said at the time.

FBI agents seized thousands of government records, some marked as highly classified, from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort during a court-approved search on Aug. 8.

© Reuters. A view of Mar-a-Lago resort after a message on the Truth Social account of former U.S. President Donald Trump was posted that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday, and called on his supporters to protest, in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. March 20, 2023. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Trump later sued in August to seek the appointment of third-party arbiter, who would ensure no privileged documents were being reviewed by prosecutors. A federal appeals court in December dismissed the lawsuit and ended the outside review, which federal investigators said was delaying their work.

Attorney General Merrick Garland in November 2022 appointed Smith to oversee the federal probes involving Trump after he announced he would run for the presidency in 2024.

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