Mick Mulvaney, the former Trump administration acting chief of staff, said on Thursday that the reported informant who tipped off authorities about where Donald Trump was storing classified documents at Mar-a-Lago would have to be “very close” to the former president.
“This would be someone who was handling things on day to day, who knew where documents were, so it would be somebody very close inside the president, my guess is there’s probably six or eight people who had that kind of information,” Mulvaney said on CNN.
Newsweek reported earlier this week that the FBI’s search had been aided by details from an informant who told the bureau what documents remained in Trump’s possession and where at Mar-a-Lago they were located. The Wall Street Journal similarly reported that investigators had been aided by a witness while Axios reported that some in Trump’s orbit have speculated about the possibility that someone close to the former president has been working with law enforcement.
The FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida as part of the alleged mishandling of potentially classified material, sparking outrage from Republicans and Trump himself. The Journal, in its article published on Wednesday, reported that an informant told investigators that Trump still had classified documents at Mar-a-Lago beyond the 15 boxes the National Archives took in February. The former president at that point had also told authorities that he had no more classified materials in his possession.
Mulvaney said on Thursday that a potential informer would have to be “really close” to Trump to know where he was storing documents at Mar-a-Lago.
“I didn’t know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago and I was the chief of staff for 15 months,” he said.
Mulvaney, once a Trump loyalist who has more recently been critical of the former president’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, said that he no longer knows any of the people inside the former president’s circle and therefore couldn’t provide any names that came to mind for a potential informant. He added that he agrees with Republican calls for the Justice Department — which has stayed quiet on the reason for the raid — to be more transparent, but that Trump also “probably should” release the receipt he has of what was taken in the seizure and the copy of the search warrant.
“Maybe the best thing for everybody to do right now in order to calm things down and sort of reset the playing field is for Trump to come forward with the search warrant that he received and the receipt of the documents that were taken, and the DOJ to come forward with the affidavit that they swore out to a judge,” Mulvaney said.