Justice Department wants to talk to people hired to search Trump properties for classified docs

The Justice Department is seeking to question two people who searched Donald Trump’s properties in November, as federal investigators have asked whether the former president returned all classified documents to the federal government, sources familiar with the probe tell CNN.

The development is the latest sign that the Justice Department is continuing to investigate, after telling a federal court last year it believed there was possible obstruction of justice related to Trump’s handling of classified materials.

The Trump investigation moves forward as President Joe Biden now faces his own special counsel investigation into the handling of classified records, inviting comparisons between the two situations. However, the Biden investigation isn’t nearly as far along as Trump’s, and questions of obstruction don’t hang over it at this time.

Prosecutors from special counsel Jack Smith’s office and Trump’s defense lawyers have gone back and forth several times in the past two months over whether Trump has fully complied with a subpoena issued last May for classified documents from his time in the White House.

That has prompted Trump’s lawyer Timothy Parlatore to twice certify in writing that Trump’s team searched his homes and offices for more records. The new rounds of certifications haven’t been reported previously.

Some of Trump’s properties, such as at his golf course in Scotland and his Las Vegas hotel, weren’t searched, yet Trump’s team believed they did a thorough job, looking everywhere they believed presidential records might have been, sources say.

In a statement, Parlatore told CNN that the Justice Department has “rejected offers of cooperation in favor of heavy-handed tactics to create a false impression of noncompliance in the absence of evidence.”

Parlatore added: “President Trump did nothing wrong and a proper investigation would have concluded months ago, amicably, without the significant waste of taxpayer resources.”

The Justice Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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