Omarosa Manigault Newman, who previously worked for President Trump’s White House, transition, campaign and was a contestant on “The Apprentice,” says the White House likely destroyed five boxes of emails that might have been of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and could be of interest to Congressional investigators.
“I think it’s important to realize that very early on in the administration, we got letters directing us to preserve all information related to the Mueller investigation, all investigations, any information, any emails, any correspondence,” the top former advisor told the Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday. “We had a clear directive to preserve those documents, preserve emails, preserve text messages.”
“So I thought it was very interesting that after my discussion with General Kelly in the Situation Room when I went to take my things, I was instructed that I had to leave seven boxes of documents that came from the campaign, the inauguration, the transition, and they would not allow me to get them,” she continued.
“What’s very curious to me is that, as I stated, it was seven boxes of documents, and in my emails, they only referenced two, which leads me to believe that they’ve destroyed the other five,” Manigault Newman said.
“So, you know, it’s par for the course with this administration. I believe I’m not the only one who’s been subjected to this type of treatment, and I believe that there are more documents that have been destroyed by this administration,” she noted. “If it happened to me, it’s happened to others.”
“Let me be clear because I want to make sure I understand you. You say there was seven boxes, but they only referred to two? So are you suggesting that maybe they destroyed five boxes of emails that could have been evidence?” Sharpton asked.
“Oh, there’s no question,” she replied.
“So we’ll have to see what unfolds. But I’m sure that I’m just not a one-off. I believe that this is a pattern with this administration of being disrespectful to congressional requests, of trying to use intimidation and all types of tactics to keep people silent,” she suggested.
President Donald Trump’s campaign officials and associates deleted key “communications” and concealed details from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, leading investigators to conclude that it could “not rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light” on the findings.
On page 10 of Mueller’s heavily-redacted report, the special counsel’s team detailed efforts by Trump’s campaign and associates to conceal information from investigators.
“The investigation did not always yield admissible information or testimony, or a complete picture of the activities undertaken by subjects of the investigation,” the report explained.
The report then detailed how some persons of interest claimed their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when questioned by investigators. Some information was “covered by legal privilege” and could not be used by Mueller’s team of investigators.
Individuals also provided false and misleading information to investigators, according to the report, hindering the investigation. The report named three specific individuals—former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and Trump’s personal and corporate attorney Michael Cohen, each of whom has already entered guilty pleas about lying to investigators or to Congress.
“Further, the Office [of the special counsel] learned that some of the individuals we interviewed or whose conduct we investigated–including some associated with the Trump Campaign–deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records. In such cases, the Office was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with their known facts,” the document explained.
“Given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report,” the investigators wrote.Mueller also noted, on Page 9, that his investigation “established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign lied to the office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.”
Later in the report—Volume II, Page 78 (page 290 of the PDF containing all pages of the document)—Mueller detailed Trump’s reported response to the special counsel’s appointment.
“Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f*cked,” he said, according to notes credited to Jody Hunt, then–Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff. The response from the president would suggest he was deeply concerned about the launch of Mueller’s investigation, as well as the information it could reveal about him and his campaign.