FBI agents found empty folders marked with classified banners when they searched Donald Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago last month, according to the US Department of Justice.
The details were revealed in a more detailed inventory of seized material made public by the ministry.
It describes in general terms the contents of 33 boxes taken from the former president’s home in Florida during the August 8 search.
It also shows how newspapers, magazines and other articles were mixed up with documents that investigators believe have been marked as classified and top secret.
The Department of Justice said there was no safe space at Mar-a-Lago for such sensitive government secrets.
He has opened a criminal investigation focusing on why they were held there and what he says were efforts to obstruct that investigation over the past few months.
Inventory shows that 43 empty folders with classified banners were removed from a box or container at the office, along with 28 empty folders labeled as “return to personnel secretary” or military aid.
These empty folders were also found in a storage closet.
It is not clear from the inventory why any of the folders were empty or what might have happened to the documents inside.
What was seized at Mar-a-Lago?
According to the inventory, here are the documents that were seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago:
• 99 magazines/newspapers/press articles and other print media dated between 01/2017 and 10/2018
• 2 US government documents with markings classified as CONFIDENTIAL
• 15 US government documents with SECRET classification marks
• 7 US government documents with TOP SECRET classification marks
• 69 US government documents/photographs without classification markings
• 43 empty folders with “CLASSIFIED” banners
• 28 empty folders labeled “Return to Secretary of Staff/Military Auxiliary”
Trump lawyers downplay discovery
This comes after Mr. Trump’s lawyers tried to minimize the discovery of highly classified documents in his Florida mansion.
An image was published in a court filing showing top secret documents discovered during research, some of which are marked as “top secret//sci”.
Mr Trump’s lawyers, in a court filing, said: “Put simply, the idea that presidential records would contain sensitive information should never have been alarming.”
They also attacked the Justice Department for carrying out the search, claiming Mr Trump was involved in a ‘give and take’ with the US National Archives over the return of presidential records at the time which was ” standard “.
The filing also claimed that Mr Trump authorized FBI agents to “come to his home and provide security advice”.
. Raid Trump of empty folders marked classified banners found during dune raid his home MaraLago according to of officials American news