The FBI’s Trump Mar-a-Lago search yielded 11 sets of classified documents, filings show

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The FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home earlier this week turned up four sets of top-secret documents and seven sets of less secret but still classified information, according to a list of items seized in the high-profile raid and released by a federal judge Friday.

The written statement — a document provided by investigators after a search — says the FBI took about 20 boxes of items from the Mar-a-Lago Club on Monday, including photo binders, information about the president of France and a variety of classified material.

One set of documents is listed as “Miscellaneous Classified TS/SCI Documents”, a reference to top secret/sensitive classified information, a highly classified category of government secrets, in addition to the four sets of top secret papers. Agents also took three sets of documents classified as secret, and three sets of papers classified as confidential – the lowest level of classification.

The list of seized material does not further describe the subject matter of any of the classified documents.

“Some of what was in Trump’s possession is astounding,” said Javed Ali, a senior National Security Council official under the Trump administration who now teaches at the University of Michigan. “When you leave government — including probably a former president — you can’t just take it with you.”

The Washington Post reported Thursday that FBI agents were looking for classified documents on, among other things, nuclear weapons, according to people familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing case. The people did not offer additional details, such as whether the documents sought involved weapons belonging to the United States or another nation.

In a statement early Friday, Trump called the nuclear weapons issue a “hoax” and suggested the FBI planted evidence without providing information indicating how such a thing had happened.

The warrant, signed by a federal magistrate judge, authorized FBI agents to search Trump’s office and any “storage rooms and any other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff, and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate.”

The order said it seeks all “physical documents and records that constitute evidence, contraband, proceeds of crime or other items unlawfully possessed in violation of three potential crimes,” including a section of the Espionage Act that prohibits the collection, transfer or loss of the National Defense Information. The executive order also cites destruction of records and concealment or mutilation of government material. The contents of the warrant and the statement were first reported by the Wall Street Journal early Friday afternoon before they were arraigned in court.

Later in the day, Trump wrote on social media that the material was “all declassified” and that the authorities “didn’t have to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into the Mar- a-Lago.” Sitting presidents have broad authority to declassify information, but there is a formal process for doing so, and some declassifications require approval from additional officials.

Status of key investigations involving former President Donald Trump

While the court order clearly aimed to collect any classified material in Trump’s residence, office and storage areas, it also authorized agents to collect any government or presidential records created during the Trump administration, as well as any evidence “of the known alteration , destruction, or concealment of any government and/or presidential records or of classified documents.”

The first item listed on the property receipt is perhaps the strangest — an executive grant of clemency to Roger Stone, a longtime Trump friend who was convicted by a jury of trying to obstruct a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election .

However, most of the seized items are listed generically as “Box marked A-15” or something similar, giving no clue as to what they may contain. The receipt was signed by Christina Bobb, one of Trump’s lawyers.

The order was released a day after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Justice Department wanted it closed, insisting that officials had strictly followed federal investigative rules in conducting the search and that the public had a right to see the document that authorized them to do so.

Hours after Garland’s announcement, Trump wrote on social media that he supported unsealing the documents. He or his lawyers could have shared them publicly at any time since he received them days ago.

In the New York deposition, Trump takes the fifth more than 400 times

Typically, search warrants speak in broad terms about what is to be searched, the purpose of the search, and the possible crimes being investigated. When the search is complete, investigators provide a list of seized property, but it is also usually a general description of items, such as papers or boxes, without describing the details of what they contain. For most search warrants, the most detailed description of the investigators’ suspicions and what they expect to find is provided in an affidavit by the agent requesting the warrant.

In this case, neither the government nor Trump proposed releasing the statement, which is likely to contain far more information about the case. But several news organizations have made that request, and the judge overseeing the case has given the government until Monday at 17 to respond to their proposals.

The court-authorized search of Trump’s residence sparked a political furor, with Trump and many of his Republican defenders accusing the FBI of acting out of politically motivated malice. Some have threatened the agency on social media, and on Thursday a gunman stormed the security entrance at the FBI building in Cincinnati. The police chased him and he was eventually shot and killed by the police. Authorities are investigating his possible ties to extremist groups, including the Proud Boys.

The FBI operative was a prolific contributor to Trump’s Truth Social website

The Justice Department’s investigation into the Mar-a-Lago documents began months ago when the National Archives and Records Administration sought the return of material taken there from the White House. The material included 15 boxes of documents and objects, some of them marked as classified.

In the spring, Trump’s team received a grand jury subpoena related to the documents probe, two people with knowledge of the investigation, who also spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details, confirmed to The Post on Thursday. Investigators visited Mar-a-Lago in the weeks after the subpoena was issued, and Trump’s team turned over some materials.

People familiar with the investigation have said it is focused on whether the former president or his aides withheld classified or other government material that should have been returned to government custody earlier. The people, who also spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation, said that as authorities engaged in months of discussions on the subject, some officials came to suspect that the Trump team was not being truthful.

Material on nuclear weapons is particularly sensitive and usually restricted to a small number of government officials, experts have said. Releasing details about US weapons could provide an intelligence roadmap for adversaries seeking to build ways to counter those systems. And other countries may see disclosure of their nuclear secrets as a threat, experts said.

In one of his statements on social media early Friday, Trump complained that agents did not allow his lawyers to be present during the search, which is not unusual in a law enforcement operation, especially if it potentially involves classified items. Another statement by the former president claimed that his predecessor, Barack Obama, kept sensitive documents after leaving the White House. “How many of them related to nuclear power? The word is, lots!” Trump wrote.

The National Archives and Records Administration issued a statement pushing back on that allegation, saying the agency had, as required, obtained “exclusive legal and physical custody” of Obama’s records when he left office in 2017. It said about 30 million pages of unclassified records were transferred to a NARA facility in the Chicago area and that they continue to be maintained “exclusively by NARA.”

Classified records of the Obama administration are kept at a NARA facility in Washington, the statement said.

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