September 24, 2022
Trump Mar-a-Lago search warrant, property receipt show agents found trove of classified docs
WASHINGTON - The property receipt of items recovered by FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort shows that agents recovered a trove of top secret and other heavily classified documents, according to court documents unsealed Friday by a federal judge in Florida.

Federal agents removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some that were labeled secret and top secret, according to documents obtained by NBC News shortly before the judge unsealed them. Among the items the FBI took was a handwritten note, information about the "President of France," an executive grant of clemency for Trump ally Roger Stone and binders of photos.

There were also papers described as "SCI" documents, which stands for highly classified "sensitive compartmented information."

One document attached to the search warrant said the agents were searching for “All physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime and other items illegally possessed in violation of” three laws, including a part of the Espionage Act that the Justice Department describes on its website as a "key national defense and national security" provision. The section cited in the search warrant "applies to activities such as gathering, transmitting to an unauthorized person, or losing, information pertaining to the national defense, and to conspiracies to commit such offenses."

The other two laws referenced by the document attached to the search warrant pertain to the improper removal of records and concealing or destroying records to impede investigations.

The court documents unsealed on Friday said investigators were searching for evidence of those crimes including “any physical documents with classification markings” and “any government and/or Presidential Records” from Trump’s time in office, in addition to any evidence of the “knowing alteration, destruction or concealment of any government and/or Presidential records, or of any documents with any classification markings.”

While Trump and his allies have suggested that any documents in his possession had been declassified by him while he was in office, the three laws cited in the search warrant do not specify that the mishandled documents had to have been classified.

NBC News and other news organizations obtained the documents shortly before the judge authorized their public release. The Justice Department filed a notice Friday saying Trump did not oppose the unsealing.

Asked for comment on the unsealed warrant, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pointed to statements she made earlier in the week, including one where she said, "The Justice Department conducts investigations independently, and we leave any law enforcement matters to them.”

Trump and his lawyers have had the search warrant and documents since Monday, but initially resisted calls to make them public. In a statement overnight on his social media platform, Trump said he did not oppose DOJ's motion to disclose the documents to the public. (Source: NBC News)
Story Date: August 13, 2022
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