WASHINGTON — The FBI has released a “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida after a federal judge opened a warrant this week authorizing an unprecedented search, according to court documents released Friday. We recovered a document labeled .
Property receipts unsealed by the court show FBI agents retrieved 11 sets of classified records from the property during Monday’s search.
The seized records included those classified as top secret and “classified information,” a special category intended to protect the country’s most important secrets, and those of the interests of the United States if disclosed. Court records do not give specific details about the documents or the information they may contain.
The warrant details that federal investigators were investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including the law governing the collection, transmission, or loss of defense information under the Espionage Act. I’m here. Other laws address the concealment, mutilation or deletion of records and the destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations.
Property receipts also showed that federal agents had collected records of other potential presidents. It included an order pardoning Trump ally Roger Stone, a “leather-covered box of papers”, and information about the “President of France.” Photo binders, handwritten notes, “other confidential documents” and “other confidential documents” were also seized in the search.
Trump’s attorney, Christina Bob, was present at Mar-a-Lago when agents conducted the search.
In a statement earlier on Friday, Trump claimed that the documents seized by his agents were “all declassified” and that he would turn them over to the Justice Department if asked.
A sitting president has the power to declassify information, but that power expires as soon as the president leaves office, and it was not clear whether the documents in question were declassified. Trump also kept the documents despite repeated requests by agencies, including the National Archives, to turn over the president’s records in accordance with federal law.
U.S. Magistrate Bruce Reinhart, the same judge who approved the search warrant, told the Justice Department on Friday after Attorney General Merrick Garland declared “there is a substantial public interest in the matter.” Unsealed the warrant and the property receipt at the request of He supported the “immediate” release of the warrant. The Justice Department told a judge Friday afternoon that Trump’s lawyers did not object to the proposal to release it.
In a message posted on his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote, “Not only do we not oppose the release of the documents, we go one step further by encouraging their immediate release.”
Trump himself received at least some of the records that the government was planning to release, but he and his lawyers have so far refused to release them.
The Department of Justice’s demands are astonishing. Such documents traditionally remain sealed during pending investigations. But the Justice Department recognizes that it has the right to side with the FBI over what caused the probe to create a vacuum for violent verbal attacks by Trump and his supporters and sparked Monday’s actions at the former president’s home. It looked like there was
The motion, which was filed in federal court in Florida on Thursday, said, “The public’s clear and strong interest in understanding what happened under these circumstances weighs heavily on supporting the lifting of the seal. There are,’ he said.
The information was released as follows (Trump is preparing to run again for the White House. During the 2016 campaign, he questioned whether Democratic rival Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information.) He frequently pointed to FBI investigations about
To obtain a search warrant, federal officials must prove to a judge that there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. Garland said he personally approved the warrant, but was downplayed by the department given standard practice is to choose less intrusive tactics than raids when possible. It wasn’t a decision.
In this case, there was substantial involvement between Trump and his representatives prior to the search warrant, according to a person familiar with the matter. This includes subpoenas of record and a visit to his Mar-a-Lago several months ago by the FBI and his FBI. Department of Justice officials will evaluate how the documents were kept. The person was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Neither Trump nor the FBI said what documents the FBI may have recovered or exactly what investigators were looking for.
FBI and DOJ policy warns against discussing ongoing investigations to protect the integrity of the investigation and avoid unfairly defaming those who are being scrutinized but not ultimately charged. This is especially true in the case of search warrants. As the investigation progresses, supporting court documents are routinely kept secret.
In this case, however, Garland cited the fact that Trump himself, “in his right,” provided the first public confirmation of the FBI investigation — undermining the functioning of the court.
The Justice Department under the Garland administration has released public statements about its politically charged investigations and the extent to which it is investigating Trump as part of a broader investigation into the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, and its We were cautious about confirming our efforts to reverse the results. 2020 election.
The department has taken a back seat to the president’s politics, as in 2016 when then-FBI Director James Comey issued a rare public statement announcing that the FBI would not recommend criminal prosecution for its handling of Clinton’s emails. tried to avoid being seen as involved in He spoke out again just a week before the election, informing Congress that the investigation was effectively reopened as new emails were discovered.
Mar-a-Lago’s search warrant, issued Monday, was part of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the discovery of classified White House records discovered earlier this year at Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., home. asked the agency to investigate after it said 15 boxes of records recovered from the property contained classified records. Several federal laws govern the handling of confidential information.
The attorney general also condemned verbal attacks on FBI and Justice Department officials over the search. Some Republican Trump supporters are calling for the FBI to be defunded. Many Trump supporters are calling for the warrants to be released in hopes of showing Trump was unfairly targeted.
“When their decency is unjustly attacked, I will not sit on the sidelines,” Garland said of federal law enforcement officers, calling them “dedicated and patriotic public servants.”
Earlier Thursday, an armed man in body armor attempted to break into a security screening area at an FBI field office in Ohio, but then fled and was killed after a standoff with law enforcement. . Law enforcement officials briefed on the matter identified the man as Ricky Schiffer, who is believed to have been in Washington in the days leading up to the attack on the Capitol, and who was believed to have been in Washington the day the attack took place. We said it could have been there.