Federal agents took 11 sets of classified records from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property during a raid Monday, including some identified as top secret, according to the Wall Street Journal, as the deadline approaches for Trump’s lawyers to decide whether to oppose a Justice Department motion to release records related to the search.
Federal agents recovered documents classified as top secret that were only supposed to be held in special government facilities, according to the Journal, which reviewed a three-page list of items seized in the search.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation took about 20 boxes in total, including photos, a handwritten letter, a grant of clemency for Roger Stone, a Trump ally, and information relating to the “President of France,” the Journal reported, citing the list of items, which was a part of a seven-page document that included information relating to the Mar-a-Lago search warrant.
Federal investigators aimed to search “all storage rooms” and all other areas the former president and his staff used and where boxes or documents could be stored, according to the search warrant, which was approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, the Journal reported.
Trump doesn’t have the affidavit related to the search that would offer more details on the FBI probe, but his attorneys have asked for more information on what was recovered from the property, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the investigation.
The report comes after the Washington Post reported Thursday the FBI was looking for classified documents related to nuclear weapons—which Trump has disputed—as well as records about a “special access program” related to “extremely sensitive operations carried out by the United States abroad or for closely held technologies and capabilities,” according to the New York Times.
What To Watch For
Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday filed a motion to unseal the search warrant for Monday’s FBI raid and also wants to share details on what was taken from the property. Trump has called for the “immediate release” of documents tied to the investigation. His lawyers have until 3 p.m. Eastern Friday to decide whether to oppose the motion, a deadline set by the Justice Department.
Federal investigators searched Trump’s home on Monday for hours as part of a probe launched by the Justice Department into why 15 boxes of Trump administration government documents—handed over to the National Archives in January—were taken to Mar-a-Lago instead of remaining in federal custody. Under the Presidential Records Act, White House documents must be preserved and given to the National Archives once a president leaves office. The raid came after federal agents reportedly visited Trump’s property and removed items in June, and after confidential sources told agents more classified documents may still be at the private club, according to reports. Trump and his allies have framed the search as political persecution.
FBI Recovered Eleven Sets of Classified Documents in Trump Search, Inventory Shows (Wall Street Journal)