A former White House lawyer for former President Trump warned him last year that he could face legal consequences for holding onto presidential records, The New York Times reported on Monday.
Eric Herschmann told the former president in a late 2021 meeting that he could face investigations and legal repercussions if he did not return government materials, particularly classified documents, according to The New York Times. Herschmann was not working for or with Trump at the time, the Times noted.
More than 40 boxes of records, including a reported 300 classified documents, have been recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence since he left office. The National Archives and Records Administration retrieved 15 boxes from the Florida resort in January, not long after Trump’s meeting with Herschmann, per the Times.
Upon discovering classified documents among the recovered records, the National Archives referred the issue to the Justice Department for an investigation. Trump’s lawyers returned several more classified documents to the DOJ in June.
Suspecting there were still more documents at Mar-a-Lago, the FBI conducted a search of Trump’s home in August, recovering 33 more boxes with over 100 classified documents.
Trump and the DOJ are currently locked in a legal battle over the status of the recovered documents. The recently appointed special master in the case, Judge Raymond Dearie, is set to meet with lawyers from the DOJ and Trump’s team for their first conference on Tuesday.
Herschmann previously testified about his time in the Trump White House to the Jan. 6 Committee. The former White House lawyer called the plans of several Trump allies to challenge 2020 election results “nuts,” according to testimony played at one of the committee’s public hearings in July.