Trump told aide to pretend to ‘know nothing about boxes’ of secret papers, report says

A former assistant to Donald Trump has reportedly said she was told by the former president to pretend she didn’t know anything about the boxes containing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Mr Trump’s long-time assistant Molly Michael told investigators that the former president told her to hush up about the boxes after he learned that federal investigators wanted to quiz her following the raid at her house, a person familiar with her comments to investigators told ABC News.

“You don’t know anything about the boxes,” Mr Trump allegedly told Ms Michael.

She was interviewed by the investigators as part of the probe into the former president’s handling of secret government documents which were found stashed in his home during a raid on 8 August last year.

She told investigators that she received tasks or requests from Mr Trump that were written on the back of a notecard – that she later recognised were sensitive White House materials – more than once.

The notecards had visible classification markings that were used to brief Mr Trump when he was still the president on matters involving foreign leaders and other international-related matters, according to the report.

They were not taken by the FBI agents during the raid and Ms Michael found them the next day when she went there to clean up her office space, sources told the outlet.

She helped transfer them to the FBI that same day, they added.

The former president was hit with federal charges in June for mishandling government documents after leaving office.

Mr Trump pleaded not guilty after he was indicted on 37 counts of criminal charges related to the handling of classified documents. He has denied all the charges and denounced the investigations against him as a political witch hunt.

A Trump spokesperson told the network that the claims were “illegal leaks” that lacked “proper context and relevant information” and insisted that he “did nothing wrong”.

She is one of the two witnesses who could be called to testify against Mr Trump in the classified documents trial and present the evidence that the former president attempted to obstruct the government’s investigation.