Trump asked lawyer to tell National Archives all documents had been returned -- but he refused: report
President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

A new report from the Washington Post claims that an attorney representing former President Donald Trump refused a request to tell the National Archives earlier this year that all government documents the president took with him to his Mar-a-Lago resort had been returned.

The reason for the refusal, according to the Post's sources, was simple: He wasn't sure if all the documents had, in fact, been returned.

The Post's report states that Trump asked attorney Alex Cannon to make the assertion to the National Archives this past February, shortly after Cannon had facilitated the transfer of 15 boxes worth of material from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives.

What's more, the Post's sources say that "Trump himself eventually packed the boxes that were returned in January," that added that "the former president seemed determined in February to declare that all material sought by the archives had been handed over," despite the fact that FBI would later find multiple boxes of government records at the resort, including multiple documents with the "Top Secret" classification label.

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The Post's report goes on to state that Cannon's refusal to validate Trump's false claims about having returned the documents could be used against him if the Department of Justice pursues obstruction of justice charges against him.

"If Trump continued to pressure aides to make false statements even after learning the Justice Department was involved in retrieving the documents, authorities could see those efforts as an attempt to obstruct their investigation," the paper writes.