Trump's final days in office under scrutiny as part of federal investigation

Jess Hardiman

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Trump's final days in office under scrutiny as part of federal investigation

Featured Image Credit: American Photo Archive / dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Donald Trump’s final days in office are now under scrutiny, with his ‘chaotic’ exit from the White House at the centre of a federal probe. 

A new report from The Wall Street Journal details how the West Wing started to ‘empty out’ in the final weeks of the Trump administration in early 2021, but that the departing president remained ‘preoccupied’ on overturning the election loss that saw him ousted.  

Former aides told the outlet that he spent his last days meeting with lawyers, plotting how to settle scores with Republicans that wanted to have him impeached after the 6 January riots

He also used the time to negotiate pardons with his advisors – in the end, issuing 143 pardons and commutations by 20 January, his last day in office. 

Trump spent his final window in power meeting with lawyers and advisors. Credit: Brandon Moser/Alamy Stock Photo
Trump spent his final window in power meeting with lawyers and advisors. Credit: Brandon Moser/Alamy Stock Photo

The result, according to the WSJ, was a ‘rushed and chaotic’ departure from the White House, which is now at the centre of an official investigation into how he handled classified documents and other presidential material after being booted from office. 

Speaking to the newspaper, one unnamed former aide said it was a 'weird time' in the West Wing during the final weeks of Trump’s tenure, as he continued to contest the November election results. 

The aide added: “It was like, are we doing this? Are we not doing this?” 

Earlier this week, it was announced that Trump was being investigated by the FBI for a potential violation of the Epsionage Act, as well as obstructing justice, as revealed in a search warrant that was newly unsealed on Friday 12 August. 

According to Politico, a receipt accompanying the FBI's search warrant of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida estate, shows that the 76-year-old possessed highly classified government documents. 

The entrance to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Credit: Tribune Content Agency LLC/Alamy Stock Photo
The entrance to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Credit: Tribune Content Agency LLC/Alamy Stock Photo

The raid led to intense speculation over what the cause could be, but Politico reports that the main motivation was to retrieve documents that the businessman had illegally kept after his presidential term was over. 

The outlet wrote: "The warrant shows federal law enforcement was investigating Trump for removal or destruction of records, obstruction of an investigation, and violating the Espionage Act. Conviction under the statutes can result in imprisonment or fines." 

The scale of the raid on Trump's own estate speaks to how sensitive federal investigators believe the documents to be, while the ensuing backlash from many on the political right has been fierce. 

Far right US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of Trump's loyal supporters within the Republican Party, wrote 'DEFUND THE FBI!' in capital letters on Twitter in the hours after the raid. 

In the opinion of many Trump allies, the FBI's investigation is entirely politically motivated, an attempt – in their eyes – to smear the former Apprentice USA host ahead of his assumed 2024 Presidential run. 

However, as Politico states, there is clear grounds for an investigation, as Trump didn't hand back highly secretive documents and files that could pose a risk to US national security. 

 If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: Politics, Donald Trump, US News

Jess Hardiman
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