The Department of Justice unsealed a 37-count indictment against Donald Trump on Friday for allegedly storing classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, then hiding them from the government.
Who got close to the secret records? Tens of thousands of people, according to the government, explaining that documents remained on site as members and guests streamed in and out of the club.
Forbes mined social media to figure out some of the people who came into Trump’s office, one of the places where Trump kept the records, for this September 2022 story.
igel Farage, Ray J and Michael Flynn, the former U.S. general who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, normally wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the United States’ most-sensitive secrets.
But court filings made this week by the Justice Department revealed that the former president stored classified files at Mar-a-Lago, including in his office. And since leaving the White House, Trump has hosted plenty of people there, according to a review of social-media posts.
“He has guests frequently,” explained Trump’s attorney Alina Habba on Fox News in September,
Trump’s guests have included Farage, Ray J and Flynn, as well as Republican members of Congress, local government officials, current candidates and conservative operatives. Foreign power players have stopped by, too. In addition to Farage, a one-time member of the European Parliament, one of the most well-connected people in Brazil came to the office.
Eduardo Bolsonaro, a member of the country’s national Congress and the son of Brazil’s sitting president, posted what he called a “recent photo” from Mar-a-Lago in October 2021.
Trump admitted another former member of a foreign legislature into his office in November 2021 when he accepted an honorary black belt in taekwondo. The president of the governing body that bestowed the award, Lee Dong-sup, was a member of South Korea’s parliament in 2018, according to the Korea Times. (Lee’s name does not appear on the assembly’s current roster).
As for U.S. lawmakers, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo). is one of at least six members of Congress to visit Trump in his Mar-a-Lago office. Boebert didn’t encounter any classified information during her November 2021 visit, nor did Trump mention that any was in the vicinity, according to a spokesperson for the lawmaker. Investigators have not been in touch with Boebert regarding her visit, the spokesperson said.
Republicans Jim Banks (Ind.), Ted Budd (N.C.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Lance Gooden (Texas) and Greg Steube (Fla.) also shared photos from Trump’s office. As did candidates for Congress Jake Evans, Cory Mills and Vernon Jones. Their spokespeople did not respond to inquiries.
State and municipal officials also may have gotten unusually close to U.S. government secrets. Dan Cox, a state delegate in Maryland and the GOP nominee for governor, shared a photo from the office in May. He, too, told Forbes that he didn’t see any classified information during his visit and that Trump didn’t mention that any might be near by. Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Mayor Esteban Bovo Jr. of Hialeah, Florida and New York City Councilperson Inna Vernikov also visited.
In 2017, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty. Right-wing political operative Roger Stone was found guilty of seven felony counts, including of lying to Congress, in 2019. While in office, Trump pardoned Flynn and granted clemency to Stone. Out of office, both men may have been in the vicinity of classified information when they, separately, visited Trump.
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe, former White House advisor Stephen Miller, Kyle Rittenhouse, commentator Todd Starnes and Pastor Darrell Scott (with Ray J) are among the other conservative operatives spotted in Trump’s office.
Starnes, who was at Mar-a-Lago around November 2021 to interview Trump for a book, was the only member of this group to respond to an inquiry. He told Forbes he was offered a Diet Coke but said he “cannot and will not disclose the contents of the interview or the documents the president may or may not have shown to me.”
Update Sept. 3, 2022, 4:30 p.m.: This article was revised to add the sighting of Eduardo Bolsonaro, which a Twitter user identified.
Source: Fox Business
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