FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump’s Florida home last month found top-secret documents in an office and storage room, along with folders with classified banners but nothing inside and more than 10,000 other government documents without classification markings, according to a more detailed inventory. seized material made public on Friday.
The inventory compiled by the Ministry of Justice reveals in general terms the contents of 33 boxes and containers seized from an office and warehouse in Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search. Although the inventory does not describe the contents of the documents, it does show the extent to which classified information – including top-secret level documents – was hidden in boxes at home and mixed with newspapers, magazines, clothing and other personal items.
It also clarifies for the first time the volume of unclassified government documents in the house, even though presidential files were to be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration. The Archives had tried unsuccessfully for months to get them back from Trump, then contacted the FBI after locating classified information in a batch of 15 boxes received in January.
The Department of Justice said there was no safe space at Mar-a-Lago for sensitive government secrets, and opened a criminal investigation focused on keeping them there and what it was. said there have been efforts in recent months to obstruct the investigation. It also investigates potential violations of a law that criminalizes the mutilation or concealment of government records, classified or unclassified.
Trump’s attorneys did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Friday. Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich claimed the FBI search was a ‘SMASH AND GRAB’ – although the Justice Department was granted court permission to search specific areas of the home.
The inventory was released as the Justice Department begins its criminal investigation, as intelligence agencies assess any potential damage caused by the mishandling of classified information and a judge assesses whether to appoint a master special – essentially an outside legal expert – to review the records.
The inventory was filed earlier under seal, but the Justice Department said that given the “extraordinary circumstances” it had no objection to its publication. Trump himself has already requested the disclosure of documents related to the search. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon said Thursday she planned to unseal the inventory and did so on Friday.
In total, the inventory shows the FBI seized more than 100 documents with classification marks in August, including 18 marked top secret, 54 secret and 31 confidential. The FBI identified 184 documents marked as classified in 15 boxes recovered by the National Archives in January, and received additional classified documents during a June visit to Mar-a-Lago.
The court documents did not explain why Trump kept the documents classified, and why he and his representatives did not give them when requested.
Inventory shows that 43 empty folders with classified banners were removed from a box or container at the office, along with 28 additional empty folders labeled “Return to Personnel Secretary” or Military Aid. Empty files of this nature were also found in a storage closet.
It is unclear from the inventory list what might have happened to any of the documents that were apparently inside.
Separately on Friday, the Justice Department said in a court filing that it reviewed records seized in the recent search and segregated those bearing classified marks to ensure they were stored according to protocol and law. appropriate procedure.
“The seized materials will continue to be used to further the government’s investigation, and the investigation team will continue to use and assess the seized materials as they take further investigative steps. investigation, such as additional witness interviews and grand jury practice,” the department said. .
He added that “additional evidence regarding the items seized”, including how they were stored, “will inform the government’s investigation”.
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. inventory search trump reveal new details on seized FBI