Trump stored classified documents next to a toilet with its own chandelier at Mar-a-Lago, unsealed indictment shows

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  • A federal grand jury brought criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.

  • The Justice Department brought the case over Trump taking government records to Mar-a-Lago.

  • Some of those documents were in a shower, the unsealed indictment says.

Former President Donald Trump stored boxes of classified documents in a shower at his Mar-a-Lago estate and private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The revelations were contained in the 37-count indictment unsealed on Friday, which detailed the federal charges against the former president. Trump is set to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday over the charges, which could amount to decades of prison time and stem from a Department of Justice. 

The boxes contained hundreds of classified documents, some of which had information about defense and weapons capabilities of the US and other countries, vulnerabilities the US had to military attacks, and US nuclear programs.

The Department of Justice has maintained that Trump didn't have the right to keep the documents, while Trump has claimed that as president, he had the power to declassify documents simply "by thinking about it."

"Mar-a-Lago Club was not an authorized location for the storage possession, review, display, or discussion of classified documents," the indictment reads. "Nevertheless, Trump stored his boxes containing classified documents in various locations at the Mar-a-Lago Club — including in a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, and office space, his bedroom, and a storage room."

In one part of the indictment, investigators gathered a text message exchange from April 5, 2021, between employees at Mar-a-Lago. One of the employees asked another whether the boxes of classified material could be moved out of a business center so that staff could use it for an office.

The second employee initially pushed back, saying Trump specifically wanted the documents to be in the business center because they were "his 'papers.'"

Later in the day, the first employee said there was room in the shower "where his other stuff is." 

"Is it only his papers he cares about? There's some other stuff in there that are not papers," the employee said. "Could that go to storage? Or does he want everything in there on property?" 

Later that month, some of the boxes were moved from the business center to the bathroom in what was known as Mar-a-Lago Club's Lake Room. The indictment contains a photo of the room, which appears to be part of one of the club's guest suites.

Former President Donald Trump makes statements at his Mar-a-Lago estate after being arraigned in New York City, on April 04, 2023, in Palm Beach, Florida.
Former President Donald Trump makes statements at his Mar-a-Lago estate after being arraigned in New York City, on April 04, 2023, in Palm Beach, Florida.Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The indictment then goes on to say that the boxes were moved to a storage room on June 24, 2021, on the club's ground floor. The storage space was accessible from numerous entrances, the indictment says, including one door that led outside to the club's pool and that was often left open.

The boxes apparently were moved around several times at Mar-a-Lago after they left the White House. Trump himself was involved in the packing process, the indictment says, and the boxes were initially stored in the club's White and Gold Ballroom, including on a stage, before being moved to the business center, the bathroom, and finally the storage unit.

The ballroom mentioned in the indictment was the same location where, two years later, Trump would announce his run for the 2024 Republican nomination, and where he would host supporters to rally around him after his first indictment, a pending case from the Manhattan District Attorney's office alleging he falsified business records through hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels.

Read the original article on Business Insider