Trump ally pleads fifth to testify for Justice Department’s Mar-a-Lago probe: NYT
- The DOJ is seeking testimony from key witnesses for its investigation into the Mar-a-Lago documents, according to the NYT.
- One of the witnesses is Kash Patel, a Trump ally who claimed the former president declassified the records.
- Patel decided to plead in favor of the Fifth Amendment in his grand jury testimony this month, according to the NYT.
A Donald Trump aide and loyalist had little to share in his testimony this month regarding the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president’s handling of highly sensitive government documents, The New York Times reported.
The assistant, Kash Patel, was previously whom Trump appointed representative in June to deal with the National Archives and Records Administration regarding access to presidential documents.
He once claimed in interview with Breitbartjust months before FBI agents seized thousands of documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, that Trump declassified “the entire set of materials” before leaving office.
“I was there with President Trump when he said ‘We’re declassifying this information,'” Patel told Breitbart.
But this month, Patel largely decided to plead in favor of the Fifth Amendment in his grand jury testimony for the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation, a person familiar with the situation told the Times.
Patel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
CNN was the first to report that Patel testified for several hours on October 13 before a grand jury in Washington, DC.
Federal prosecutors now hope to pressure Patel to testify, along with another key witness, Walt Naut, Trump’s former valet, according to The Times.
The Times previously reported that Nauta, who continued to work for Trump when he left the White House, was seen on security footage removing boxes from storage at Mar-a-Lago.
Patel has made various claims about Trump’s declassification of government records.
Shortly after FBI agents raided Mar-a-Lago, Patel told Fox News that Trump issued a “sweeping reclassification order” via social media.
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