The Trump Informant Guessing Game: Knives Are Out!

Former President Trump Holds Rally In Support Of Wisconsin Candidates
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
Tara Palmeri
August 11, 2022

It’s been an exasperating week in Donald Trump’s world, easily the most jam-packed couple days since he retreated to South Florida sans Twitter, sans the usual cast of characters, and sans the round-the-clock CNN and Fox News coverage that fueled the vicious cycle of political media era spanning his golden escalator descent to the violence of Jan. 6. In a veritable 48 hour window, Trump had his Florida club raided, he regained his status as a MAGA martyr, he pleaded the Fifth about 400 times in New York, and then woke up to news that said “raid” had been aided by an alleged informant on the inside. Trump is undoubtedly running in 2024, as I’ve been writing for weeks, and the only question in the air remains how soon he will announce. But, as you might expect, internal conversations have quickly turned to figuring out the identity of the snitch who was reportedly able to tell the feds exactly where more documents were located inside Mar-a-Lago. 

Trump’s inner circle is reeling, almost Agatha Christie-style, over the identity of the informant. And it’s become an interesting guessing game. Since his kitchen cabinet of advisors generally drop in from out of state, and are relegated to his office above the ballroom in Mar-a-Lago, few have access to his residence or the basement where personal items are stored. Trump insiders have told me that they’ve narrowed the identity of the possible informant down to two camps. The theory is that it was likely among the cohort of junior aides, mostly body men, (think Cassidy Hutchinson level), who are by his side day-to-day at either Bedminster or Mar-a-Lago. A few of these people have rotated out of the office in recent months, and, some have speculated, may perceive their futures as brighter outside of Trump’s orbit. Others say it could be an actual staff worker at the Mar-a-Lago club. I’ve been told specific names. 

It was Trump himself who seems to have set this circus in motion, last spring, when he reportedly received a federal subpoena for documents that National Archives investigators alleged he failed to return alongside boxes of other sensitive material that disappeared from the White House when he absconded to Mar-a-Lago. According to the Times, the feds attempted repeatedly to take back whatever documents they believed Trump still had in his possession, even deploying top Justice Department officials in June to meet with one of Trump’s lawyers, Evan Corcoran, at Mar-a-Lago. Trump himself reportedly stopped by to say hello; later, the D.O.J. emailed Corcoran instructing him to better secure whatever Trump had in his basement, and officials subpoenaed surveillance footage to ascertain who was coming in and out of his club.