What Was Trumps Motive for Keeping Documents?
The charging document offers some possible hints but does not establish that the former president had a goal beyond simply possessing the material.
For all the detailed evidence laid out in the 38-count indictment accusing former President Donald J. Trump of holding onto hundreds of classified documents and then obstructing the governments efforts to retrieve them, one mystery remains: Why did he take them and fight so hard to keep them?
Mr. Trumps motive for having thousands of presidential records including more than 300 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, his combination residence and members-only club in Palm Beach, Fla., was not addressed directly in the 49-page indictment filed on Thursday in Miami. The charging document did not establish that Mr. Trump had a broader goal beyond simply possessing the material.
While finding a motive could certainly be useful for prosecutors should Mr. Trump end up at trial, it may not be necessary in proving the legal elements of the case against him. Nonetheless, why Mr. Trump held onto an extensive collection of highly confidential documents and then, prosecutors say, schemed to avoid returning them remains an unanswered question even after nearly 15 months of investigation by the Justice Department.