A coat hanger or ‘tiny screwdriver’ could be used to unlock room where Trump allegedly kept classified documents

According to a witness, a coat hanger or a “very tiny screwdriver” could be used to unlock the Mar-a-Lago storage room where Donald Trump stored classified documents.

The claim was made by the unidentified witness in an interview with FBI agents in January 2023, according to new documents, which were released as part of an ongoing effort by Mr Trump and his co-defendants to make additional evidence gathered by special counsel Jack Smith public.

The revelation could undercut Mr Trump’s claims that the documents, which are believed to have contained sensitive government information, were always secured while they were at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

According to the interview transcript, obtained by ABC, the witness told investigators that in the summer of 2021, the door to the storage room where the documents were kept for more than a year had a knob “with a pinhole” that visitors could lock from the inside via a push button.

Boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower in the Lake Room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida (Justice Department via AP)
Boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower in the Lake Room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida (Justice Department via AP)

“Kind of like what you would find on a residential door inside of a home?” an FBI agent asked.

“So it might have a lock like that on one side of it then other side, rather than an actual place for a key,” an agent added.

“Yeah,” the witness said.

“... very tiny screwdriver?”

“Um-hmm,” the witness said.

The witness’ lawyer, John Irving, added: “Like when my kids lock themselves in the bathroom.”

“Yeah,” the witness said. “And then they’d pop it open.”

Mr Trump was charged in June last year by special counsel Jack Smith with illegally retaining classified documents taken with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after he left office in January 2021, and then obstructing government demands to give them back.

The documents allegedly contained classified information ranging from US nuclear secrets to the nation’s defence capabilities, according to Mr Smith’s indictment, and were in a ballroom at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as well as a bathroom.

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty.

The trial has stalled in Florida federal court, with Judge Cannon, who is overseeing the case, still yet to set a date for the trial to begin.

Meanwhile, the former president is currently on trial in Manhattan for a separate case in which he is accused of falsifying business records to conceal a “hush money” payment made to Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.

He is also involved in two other criminal cases involving his alleged efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election.

Trump denies all charges against him.