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Mar-a-Lago guests were partying and taking dips in the pool only 60 feet away from classified docs, per new New York Times investigation

Mar-a-LagoIn this aerial view, former U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate is seen on September 14, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

  • Government documents found at Donald Trump’s club and home Mar-a-Lago were left vulnerable.
  • According to The New York Times, Trump stored many of the documents in half-open storage rooms.
  • Documents were left among beach chairs and umbrellas, as Trump hosted at least 50 political events.

Government documents found at former President Donald Trump’s club and residence Mar-a-Lago were stored in semi-open storage rooms — the same club that hosted dozens of events where guests partied and swam in close proximity to classified documents.

Boxes of documents were stored between beach chairs and umbrellas in storage rooms near the resort’s central patios and outdoor spaces used to host events. Guests were only sixty feet away from the documents at times, according to a sweeping visual investigation by The New York Times, which shed light on the nature of the storage of government documents that included some marked “classified.”

According to the Times, Trump hosted at least 50 political events in the first 19 months after leaving office. Many of the events were held either in the central outdoor space near the estate’s pool or in the White and Gold Ballroom.

Less than 60 feet away from the White and Gold Ballroom, where event attendees spilled out onto an awning, multiple storage rooms were used to stash the documents. The storage rooms — lining the pool where guests swam, and around the corner from the ballroom — feature arched doors that per The Times were frequently kept half-open, and were open during at least four political events.

The investigation follows a ruling from a federal appeals court in early December that a special master must stop reviewing the government documents that were found and taken at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, handing the Justice Department a big win.

A spokesperson for Trump maintained that only certain staff could access the room, and did not immediately return Insider’s request for more information. For months, Trump had succeeded in using lower courts to delay the DOJ’s criminal investigation into the documents he held onto as administrations changed over.

Initially, the special master was tasked with reviewing all the documents that were recovered at Mar-a-Lago, including 11,000 general records and 100 documents marked as classified, with the goal of determining whether any of the documents are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege.

The move to appoint a special master opened an unprecedented Pandora’s box of concerns for national security experts.

In mid-November, US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that special prosecutor Jack Smith would oversee criminal investigations into Trump, based on the former president’s decision to run for office again.

Read the original article on Business Insider