Rove, 71, who served as a senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to former President George W. Bush, noted that the Secret Service has a responsibility to report a crime and hypothesized that an agent tipped off the Justice Department that it had not collected all of the classified material at Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, during prior exchanges.
“The Secret Service — and this is my own personal conjecture, I have no information besides knowing that the Secret Service is there — they have no statutory responsibility over classified material, but they are sworn federal law officers. They’re law enforcement. And they have a responsibility to report a crime,” he told Fox News.
Speculation has been swirling over who in Trump’s inner orbit could have ratted him out after a Newsweek report indicated that a confidential source served as the impetus for the bombshell search and seizure. Theories floated on the internet that everyone from Jared Kushner to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) may have been the rat.
Donald Trump Jr. notably ruled out the possibility of Gaetz being the snitch while stumping for the congressman.
Parts of the heavily redacted affidavit for the raid, released to the public Friday, reference private areas of the resort, such as a foyer to Trump’s residence, as highlighted by the Guardian. This means that investigators were privy to a striking number of details about the layout of the former president’s Florida home.
Rove also pointed to a document that Trump lawyer Christina Bobb signed asserting that all classified documentation at Mar-a-Lago had been recovered by the government, as reported by the New York Times.
“Somebody sent a letter, then, and said we don’t have classified material, and somebody in the Secret Service said, ‘I have seen classified material still here within the walls of Mar-a-Lago,’ and had a responsibility to report that through the chain of command,” Rove said.
An entourage of DOJ officials had purportedly recovered additional documentation quietly from Mar-a-Lago in June, before Trump’s lawyer signed a document claiming they recovered all of the classified material, per the outlet.
Rove also questioned why Trump held on to the documents to begin with.
“Why he was holding on to these materials when he had no legal authority to do so under the Presidential Records Act is beyond me,” he said.