Former Trump administration adviser says she found classified documents in ladies’ room

·3 min read

As the fallout from the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago raid continues, a former Trump administration staffer-turned-critic has described finding classified documents in a bathroom during the former president’s tenure.

Olivia Troye, who served as a counterterrorism adviser in the Department of Homeland Security and in the office of vice president Mike Pence before leaving the administration in 2020, told the story on MSNBC.

“I found classified information in the ladies’ room of the White House onetime,” she said, “in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. And I immediately walked it right up to security and said, ‘I just found this in the bathroom’, I covered it up, I put it in a folder.

“It wasn’t marked properly, the folder wasn’t, because I was not expecting to walk in the ladies’ room and find a document like that.”

Elaborating on the network’s Sunday show, Ms Troye described the “blood pressure rise” that members of the intelligence community experience when they find misplaced documents that should be kept secure. She also explained that such security issues were not uncommon in the Trump administration.

“It was a known thing,” she said. “People would carry documents around, especially political appointees. Traditionally you would put it in a pouch and secure it, and then you would lock the pouch and then carry it. That’s not what was the norm in the White House, and I do think that there were situations where you would see this kind of behaviour.”

Her story is not the first bathroom-related anecdote concerning the former president and his employees’ handling of sensitive documents. Just before the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago – which according to an official property receipt unearthed documents of multiple classification levels – photos were released showing what appeared to be fragments of torn-up presidential documents floating in two separate toilets.

Ms Troye left Mr Pence’s office in August 2020 to become an outspoken critic of the former president and his administration writ large. Since then, she has become a frequently featured anti-Trump talking head on MSNBC and in other media outlets, and has also attended 6 January select committee hearings to accompany members of the administration who have come forward as witnesses.

Since the Mar-a-Lago raid, Mr Trump and his allies have been scrambling to find a consistent line explaining the presence of the documents at his property despite previous negotiations with the FBI to hand them over, including under subpoena.

Among the explanations given so far are that the documents were planted, that they were not sensitive, that they were sensitive but had been declassified by the former president, and that they are covered by attorney-client privilege. No evidence has been provided to support these claims, some of which ignore the requirements imposed by US law on those charged with handling classified and secret government information.