Donald Trump told staff he needed to protect 'Russiagate' docs: report
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Wednesday, Rolling Stone reported that former President Donald Trump told White House officials that he would protect documents that he believed would expose the Russia investigation as a hoax and reveal a "Deep State" conspiracy to destroy his presidency.

"The documents related to the federal investigation into Russian election meddling and alleged collusion with Trump’s campaign. At the end of his presidency, Trump and his team pushed to declassify these so-called 'Russiagate' documents, believing they would expose a 'Deep State' plot against him," reported Adam Rawnsley and Asawin Suebsaeng.

"According to a person with direct knowledge of the situation and another source briefed on the matter, Trump told several people working in and outside the White House that he was concerned Joe Biden’s incoming administration — or the 'Deep State' — would supposedly 'shred,' bury, or destroy 'the evidence' that Trump was somehow wronged."

This comes as the FBI has launched a criminal investigation into boxes of documents containing highly classified information that was stowed at the former president's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

Some of those documents appear to have markings that signify them as containing clandestine human sources who gather intelligence for the United States at great personal risk. And at least one document contained intelligence about nuclear capabilities of a foreign power.

"Since the search, Trump has refused to say which classified government papers and top-secret documents he had at Mar-a-Lago and what the FBI had seized. (Trump considers the documents 'mine' and has directed his lawyers to make that widely-panned argument in court.) The feds have publicly released little about the search and its results," said the report. "It’s unclear if any of the materials in Trump’s document trove are related to Russia or the election interference investigation. A Trump spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment."

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