Details of the federal government’s classified documents case against Donald Trump were revealed Friday as the 37-count indictment was unsealed.
The 49-page document weaves a sordid tale of how dozens of document boxes Trump took from the White House during the last days of his presidency were moved around his Mar-a-Lago compound in Florida as the urgency of managing their location mounted.
A text exchange between two Mar-a-Lago employees discussing the movement of boxes was featured in the indictment and indicates a growing sensitivity for the situation and an awareness of the documents’ importance, with one instructing the other that “anything that’s not the beautiful mind paper boxes can go to storage.”
“We can definitely make it work if we move his papers into the lake room?” Trump Employee 2 said in a text appearing on Page 11, kicking off a brief text conversation between the two.
Trump Employee 1 responds that there is “still a little room in the shower where his other stuff is.”
“Is it only papers he cares about?” Employee 1 asks. “Theres some other stuff in there that are only papers. Could that go to storage? Or does he want everything in there on property.”
Employee 2 then references the Oscars’ Best Picture-winning 2001 film “A Beautiful Mind,” which told the story of a tortured genius played by Russell Crowe who works on a classified assignment for the U.S. Department of Defense.
“Yes – anything that’s not the beautiful mind paper boxes can definitely go to storage,” Employee 2 says. “Want to take a look at the space and start moving tomorrow AM?”
More than a dozen document boxes were then moved to a bathroom as depicted in a photograph included in the indictment, as seen above.
The text exchange is dated April 5, 2021, a year before the FBI opened an investigation into the matter, which was followed weeks later by the convening of a federal grand jury.
The nature of the information detailed in the indictment on the “top secret” documents Trump is alleged to have taken and kept despite subpoena is in-depth and daunting. Among the 31 categories laid out, they are alleged to include information on a foreign country’s nuclear capabilities, communications with a foreign leader and military attacks by a foreign country.
The indictment in the case led by special prosecutor Jack Smith also includes an account of the movement of boxes leading up to the search of Mar-a-Lago in August 2022, in which the FBI is said to have seized 102 classified documents in Trump’s office and the property’s storage room.
The expected length of a potential trial for Trump as noted in the indictment is 21 days.