Washington [US]: Former US President Donald Trump’s advisor Kash Patel on Thursday testified before the federal jury investigating the classified documents found in the Mar-a-Lago home and resort, CNN reported.
Earlier, a federal Judge granted him immunity from prosecution on any information he provides to the investigation. A Patel spokesman said, “Patel categorically denies reaching any immunity ‘deal’ with the government. Rather, his testimony was compelled over his objection through the only legal means available to the government – a grant of limited immunity,” according to CNN.
Patel, one of the loyal aides to Trump, was subpoenaed to the secret grand jury last month but declined to answer questions by asserting his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.
Earlier, in August, the US government recovered over 300 documents marked as classified from former President Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago, including material from the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI.
Previously, the FBI seized 11 sets of classified records during the raid at Trump’s residence.
Apparently, Trump filed a motion in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Monday seeking an order that appoints a special master and requires federal authorities to provide a more detailed receipt of seized property.
The motion also requested an order requiring the return of any item seized that was not within the scope of the government’s search warrant and as per the court filings, the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago are “presumptively privileged” as presidential materials and must be evaluated by a neutral Special Master reviewer, according to The Hill.
Reinhart recently sided with the government in allowing redactions in the released version of the affidavit, with much of the 38-page document blacked out over concerns about future witness participation and the integrity of the ongoing investigation.
Notably, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago residence earlier this month using a search warrant that listed potential violations of the Espionage Act involving mishandling of classified materials as a reason for the raid. A federal judge is currently determining whether to release parts of an affidavit that backed the search warrant.
The judge authorized the FBI to search what the bureau called the “45 Office” as well as “all other rooms or areas” at Mar-a-Lago that were available to former President Trump and his staff for storing boxes and documents. The search warrant identified three possible federal crimes as the reasoning behind the search: violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home which is a mansion with approximately 58 bedrooms, and 33 bathrooms, on a 17-acre estate in Palm Beach, Florida on August 8.