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Trump lawyers hire outside team to search four properties for classified info


Lawyers for former President Donald Trump recently hired a team to search four of his properties for any potentially remaining classified materials, according to a source familiar the matter.

The team of two searched Trump Tower in New York, the Bedminster golf club and two other properties amid lingering concerns from the Justice Department that not all documents had been returned to the federal government.

The four searches, which were carried out in recent weeks, were overseen by Trump’s legal team, the source said. Trump’s attorneys offered to let federal investigators observe the search at his Bedminster property, but that offer was declined. Given the Justice Department’s response, Trump lawyers did not make a similar offer for the search of the other properties.

It would be highly unusual for the Justice Department to observe searches that aren’t conducted by law enforcement. The department declined to comment.

It is unclear what the subsequent contact between the Trump legal team and federal investigators has been since the searches. The source would not detail what they have told the Justice Department about the search, but did say they have not attested to the Justice Department that no new material was found during the search.

Some details of the search were first reported by The Washington Post.

CNN previously reported exclusively that Trump’s legal team was considering allowing federal agents to search Mar-a-Lago again to satisfy Justice demands that all sensitive government documents were returned. The matter was addressed in a court proceeding this fall where the Justice Department asked a judge to issue an order compelling the Trump team to arrange for another search.