(CNN) — The federal criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents escalated this week in significant and unprecedented ways, with the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at the home of Trump at his residence at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. The investigation by the US Department of Justice concerns documents that Trump withdrew from the White House as his term ended in January 2021. Earlier this year, officials at the National Archives and Records Administration, known as NARA recovered 15 boxes of presidential documents from Mar-a-Lago. Trump’s lawyers had previously worked with NARA to voluntarily turn over some documents, but the recent Mar-a-Lago raid clearly indicates a new phase of the investigation. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and says the investigation is a politically motivated sham intended to derail his potential bid to return to the White House. This is the timeline of the investigation against Trump May 2021 A NARA official contacts the Trump team after realizing that several important documents were not released before Trump left the White House. Hoping to locate the missing documents, NARA attorney Gary Stern contacts someone who served in the White House counsel’s office under Trump, who was the point of contact for matters. register. The missing documents include some of Trump’s correspondence with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as the Hurricane Dorian map that Trump infamously altered with a marker pen. Fall 2021 NARA frustrated by slow turnaround of documents after months of talks with Trump team. Stern contacts another Trump attorney to intervene. The archivist asks about several boxes of records that were apparently taken to Mar-a-Lago during Trump’s move to Florida. NARA still hasn’t received the White House documents it seeks. January 2022 After months of discussions with the Trump team, NARA recovers 15 boxes of records from the Trump White House in Mar-a-Lago. The records administration says in a statement that some of the records it received at the end of the Trump administration were “shredded by former President Trump,” and White House officials had to glue the pieces together. Not all of the ripped-out documents were reconstructed, NARA says. Learn why the FBI raided Trump’s residence 3:14 February 9, 2022 Media outlets, including CNN, report that NARA asked the Department of Justice to investigate FBI’s handling of White House records. Trump and whether he violated the Presidential Records Act and other legislation related to classified information. The Presidential Records Act requires that all records created by a sitting president be turned over to the National Archives at the end of his administration. February 18, 2022 NARA informs the Department of Justice that some of the documents recovered at Mar-a-Lago include classified material. It also tells the Justice Department that, despite being warned it was illegal, Trump shredded documents while he was president, and that senior Trump administration officials failed to properly preserve his social media posts, draft tweets and deleted tweets. April and May 2022 On April 7, NARA publicly acknowledges for the first time that the Department of Justice is involved, and media outlets report that prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into alleged mishandling of classified documents by Trump. Around this time, FBI agents are discreetly interviewing Trump aides at Mar-a-Lago about their handling of the presidential archives as part of their expanding investigation. Timeline of FBI investigation into Trump documents 1:33 May 12, 2022 Media reports investigators subpoenaed NARA to access classified documents recovered at Mar-a-Lago. The subpoena, which is part of the process to allow investigators to take possession of the NARA documents, is the first public indication that the Justice Department uses a grand jury in its proceedings. June 3, 2022 Four investigators, including a top Department of Justice counterintelligence official, visit Mar-a-Lago seeking more information about the classified material brought to the Florida residence. The four investigators meet with two of Trump’s attorneys, Christina Bobb and Evan Corcoran, and take a look at the basement room where the documents are kept. Trump appears briefly to greet the officials but does not answer any questions. June 8, 2022 Trump’s lawyers receive a letter from federal investigators, asking them to further secure the room where the documents are kept. In response, Trump aides add a lock to the Mar-a-Lago basement room. August 8, 2022 The FBI executes a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, marking a major escalation in the investigation of the classified documents. The search focused on the area of the resort where Trump’s offices and personal quarters are located. Federal agents remove boxes of material from the property. It was the first time in US history that a former president’s home was searched as part of a criminal investigation.
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