FBI Interviewed Ex-Trump Counsel, Deputy Over Sensitive Documents: Source Cipollone (AP)
Tuesday, 16 August 2022 07:15 PM EDT
The FBI has interviewed Donald Trump's former White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, and his deputy in its investigation into sensitive documents stored at the former president's home, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.
It is unclear when Cipollone was spoken to, while his deputy, Patrick Philbin, was interviewed in the spring, according to the New York Times, which earlier reported the news.
During a search on Aug. 8 of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home, FBI agents removed classified documents including some marked as top secret, the Justice Department has said.
The search was carried out as part of an investigation into whether documents were illegally removed from the White House after Republican Trump left office in January 2021 following his election defeat by Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump has said that the records were "all declassified" and placed in "secure storage." He and allies have also claimed the Justice Department has exaggerated the urgency of securing the documents in question and oversaw an unnecessary, overzealous search in order to tarnish Trump as he considers another run for the presidency.
Trump has even gone so far as to suggesat evidence was planted to discredit him, although so far there have been no details on that claim.
A representative for Cipollone and Philbin did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.