FBI agents Who searched for Former President
Donald TrumpThe Mar-a-Lago home removed 11 sets of classified documents on Monday, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents found about 20 boxes of items, including photo binders, handwritten notes and Mr. An executive grant to pardon Trump associate Roger Stone took a list of items removed from property exhibits. According to the three-page list, information about the “President of France” is also included in the list. The list is contained in a seven-page document that includes the warrant Search campus It was issued by a federal magistrate judge in Florida.
The list contains references to a collection of documents marked as “Miscellaneous Classified/TS/SCI Documents”, which briefly states. Highly confidential/sensitive information. It also states that the agents collected four sets of classified documents, three sets of classified documents and three sets of classified documents. The list does not provide further details about the content of the documents.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers argue that the former president used his power to classify the matter before leaving office. Although the president has the authority to declassify documents, there are federal regulations that set out the process for doing so.
“They could have had it anytime — and that included a long time ago. All they had to do was ask,” Mr. Trump said in a statement released Friday.
The Warrant of search and seizureSigned by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, FBI agents attempted to search “office 45” and “all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or likely to be used. [the former president] and his servants and all structures or buildings in the estate including any boxes or documents which may be stored.
FBI agents attempted to search ‘Office 45’, as well as all storage rooms and other rooms used by the former president.
They did not seek access to search private guest rooms, such as Mar-a-Lago members’ suites, according to the document.
The former president and his team do not have an affidavit, which would provide more details about the FBI’s investigation, according to people familiar with the process. An affidavit explains what evidence the government has gathered, including witnesses, and describes why investigators believe a crime may have occurred. Mr. Trump’s lawyers have asked for more specifics about what was removed from Mar-a-Lago.
The release of the warrant and inventory marks the culmination of an extraordinary week that began last Friday at 12:12 p.m., when a judge signed an unprecedented warrant to search the former president’s home. Three days later, at 6:19 p.m., Mr. Trump’s attorney, Christina Papp, signed a receipt for the items taken by the FBI that day.
For the Justice Department, the search is the result of a month-long effort Mr. Get the rest of the classified documents in Trump’s possession After at least two prior attempts. They were initially interested in securing the documents, but began to suspect that Mr. Trump’s team was still being open about the documents they had, so they pursued a criminal investigation, people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. For Trump’s allies, the search has been a painstaking approach to obtaining documents that they say Mr. Trump is willing to return and is engaged in withdrawal negotiations.
Mr. It’s unclear whether prosecutors are considering bringing any charges against Trump or others.
The warrant said investigators are seeking all records Collection, transmission or loss of classified informationn; The Disposal of official government records; And this Destruction of records in a federal investigation.
The US government has three main levels of classification. In ascending order, the levels are Secret, Secret, and Secret. They are designed to reflect how sensitive a document’s underlying contents are considered to be, meaning that breaching a higher classification level could cause greater damage to national security.
SCI documents are generally reserved for military, specially cleared civilians, and contractor personnel working in a sensitive compartment information facility or SCIF, including those responsible for the security of the SCIF.
As the investigation progressed, a person familiar with the archived documents told investigators that even more important documents than those already obtained in January and June may still be on the premises, according to people familiar with the matter.
Documents stored at Mar-a-Lago by Mr. It is not known when they arrived during Trump’s presidency or when he left office.
Comment Mr. Stone did not immediately respond.
Mr. Trump, while in office, will continue to publicly spar with French President Emmanuel Macron
Various policy disagreements, particularly on trade and Mr. Trump’s decision Iran must withdraw from the nuclear deal. According to several former officials, Mr. Trump personally, Mr. He routinely told aides he believed Macron was a “leak” and untrustworthy. The French embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Search while Mr Trump was in New York It created a political storm Republican lawmakers have demanded an explanation for the unprecedented raid on the former president’s home. The conflict began after the National Archives in January More than a dozen boxes of White House documents were recovered From the resort earlier this year, some officials considered classified national-security information.
Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI officials spent days debating whether and how much to respond to criticism of the search, people familiar with the discussions said. The attorney general ultimately decided to let the Justice Department’s work speak for itself, ordering the agency to request that the warrant remain unsealed.
Millions of people in the United States hold some level of clearance that gives them access to classified documents, although very few have access to the highest levels. Although intelligence agencies can declassify information and release it to the public, the process for doing so is often slow and may require multiple intelligence agencies to sign off.
A sitting president typically has the power to unilaterally declassify any item he or she chooses, but such a privilege is rarely exercised. Mr. Trump has sometimes leaked classified information while in office, including tweeting a surveillance satellite image showing damage to an Iranian space facility.
Although the president has the authority to declassify documents, federal regulations set out a process for doing so. Those rules must be followed to become legally enforceable, said Dan Meyer, a national-security attorney at Tully Ringi in Washington.
Mr. Once Trump leaves office on January 20, 2021, he is bound by the same rules as any other private citizen, Mr. Mayer said.
Vivian Salama and Dustin Volz contributed to this article.
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