Washington – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recovered at least 20 boxes with official documents from the White House as part of the search and search warrant they executed on Monday at the residence of former President Donald Trump, Mar-a- lake, fl.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, the same judge who signed the search warrant, authorized the release of the warrant and acknowledgments at the request of the Justice Department after Secretary Merrick Garland stated that there was “a substantial public interest in this matter” and Trump backed the “immediate” release of the order.
The acknowledgment of receipt included in the search and seizure warrant revealed that among the boxes recovered by the agents they found at least 11 collections of documents, some with the classification of “Secreto Mayor/SCI” (Top Secret, in English), one of the highest ratings in the federal government for confidential information.RELATED
The receipt maintains that the seized documents include some classified as “Secreto Mayor” or Top Secret, although the receipt does not mention specific details about the papers or their content. They also occupied folders with photos and at least one handwritten document.
According to the receipt, the agents seized a collection of documents classified as Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI); four collections of Top Secret classified documents; three collections of Secret documents and three other groups of documents classified as confidential.
Among the recovered documents are papers on the pardon Trump granted to his ally Roger Stone, who was found guilty in 2019 of lying to Congress during the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
They also found a document with information from the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.
The search warrant details that federal agents were investigating possible violations of three federal laws, including one governing the collection, transmission or loss of defense information under the Espionage Act. The other two deal with the concealment, mutilation or removal of documents, and the destruction or falsification of files from federal investigations.
Trump’s attorney, Christina Bobb, who was present at Mar-a-Lago during the raid, signed the two acknowledgments, one two-page and one single.
Trump indicated, through written statements, that the documents seized by the FBI had been declassified (or had their Top Secret status removed) and that he would have returned them if the United States Department of Justice had requested them. The federal Secretary of Justice, Merrick Garland, highlighted yesterday, Thursday, that he asked a judge to make the search and seizure warrant public.
Although sitting presidents have the authority to declassify information, that authority expires when they leave office, and it was unclear whether the documents in question were declassified. And even declassification powers may be limited when it comes to secrets related to nuclear weapons programs, covert operations, and some data shared with allies.
Trump also maintained possession of the documents despite numerous requests from federal agencies, including the National Archives, to turn over the presidential records in accordance with federal law.
In messages posted on his Truth Social network, Trump wrote that “not only will I not oppose the release of the documents…I am going a step further by encouraging the immediate release of those documents.”
The Justice Department’s request was notable because those documents traditionally remain sealed during an ongoing investigation, but the agency apparently acknowledged that its silence since the raid had created an opportunity for the former president and his allies to launch verbal attacks, and felt the The public is entitled to an explanation from the FBI about the cause of Monday’s operation at the former president’s home.