A former White House lawyer told the National Archives last year that boxes former President Trump took from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago residence only held news clippings, multiple outlets reported Friday.

The Washington Post first reported, citing people familiar, that former deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin told the Archives in a September 2021 call that Trump only had 12 boxes of news clippings at his Florida home, information Philbin said was relayed to him by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Philbin also said Meadows told him no documents had been destroyed, according to the outlet.

The government has recovered thousands of government documents from Mar-a-Lago since Trump left office in 2020, including more than 300 classified documents, according to The New York Times.

The Archives retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago in January, finding 150 classified documents among them. Trump aides turned over more documents to the Justice Department in June, after the department began investigating the issue at the request of the Archives. An FBI search of Mar-a-Lago in August recovered another 27 boxes of documents, including more classified materials. 

Trump and the Justice Department remain locked in a legal battle over the documents, with a federal judge this week appointing Judge Raymond Dearie as special master to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee who is presiding over the case, has blocked the Justice Department from accessing the classified documents until Dearie completes that review. The department appealed the decision on Friday.

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