In the high-profile raid earlier this week, FBI agents found four sets of top-secret documents and seven sets of less-secret but still confidential documents at former president Donald Trump’s Florida home. A federal magistrate judge unsealed the FBI seized list of items on Friday. However, during a search of the estate on Monday, FBI agents took 11 sets of classified records, according to a property receipt unsealed by the court.
The FBI recovered several ‘top secret documents from the Trump Mar-A-Lago home during the raid. An appeals court issued a search warrant public amid accusations from the former president that the probe was politically motivated.#FBI #topsecretdocuments #FBIRaid #FBIRaidsMarALago pic.twitter.com/t1qyabqYB5
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) August 13, 2022
In addition to top-secret records, the seized files include “sensitive compartmented information,” a special designation designed to protect the nation’s biggest secrets. These secrets could pose an “exceptionally grave” threat to U.S. interests if revealed publicly. There was no information provided about what may be contained in the documents in the court records.
In accordance with the warrant, federal agents probed potential violations of three federal laws, including the Espionage Act, which governs gathering, transmitting, or destroying defense information. Records may be destroyed, altered, or falsified by federal investigators following other statutes prohibiting concealment, mutilation, or removal of records.
Aside from the four top-secret papers, one set of documents is designated “Various classified TS/SCI documents,” which refer to highly classified top secret/sensitive compartmented information. However, no further information is given about the subject matter of the classified documents in the list of seized materials. According to the warrant, the FBI searched Trump’s residence partly on suspicion of violating the U.S.U.S. Espionage Act by retaining sensitive defense documents illegally.
Trump Claimed All FBI Seized Documents as Declassified
During his press conference on Friday, the former president claimed all of the documents seized by agents from his Florida club were “declassified” and claimed the Department of Justice would have received the documents if requested. Trump added that the first thing is that it was all declassified. Second, there was no need to seize anything. Third, Trump wrote on Truth Social that they could have had it whenever they wanted, without playing politics and raiding into his home, Mar-a-Lago.
It is unclear whether the documents in question have ever been declassified, even though incumbent presidents have the authority to declassify information. According to federal law, Trump must also turn over presidential records, but he kept them despite several requests from agencies, including the National Archives.
On Friday, the Department of Justice requested that United States Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart unseal the warrant and property receipt that sparked Monday’s FBI search. The attorney general’s announcement on Thursday that the warrant was of significant public interest and Trump’s support for its release “immediately” led him to act.
A copy of the warrant and the property receipts had been provided to Trump’s lawyers on Monday, and they had the option of making them public at any time. According to the DOJ, Trump’s lawyers did not object to the proposal to make the documents public on Friday afternoon. In addition, some GOP legislators promised to investigate Justice Department officials, including Garland, if they control the House of Representatives in the upcoming midterm election after FBI agents searched Trump’s home.