During the August 8 raid, the FBI seized 33 boxes of more than 100 classified documents at Trump’s residence. These were supposed to be taken by Trump from the White House in January of last year, when he had to leave the office due to the loss of the presidential election.
A federal Justice Department court filing has now revealed that FBI agents raided Mar-A-Lago, Trump’s residence, only after efforts to retrieve documents with varying degrees of classification failed. The FBI believed that additional classified material remained at the villa, despite assurances from Trump’s lawyers.
He handed in a single envelope
In May, following a subpoena, Trump’s lawyer handed the government a double-taped envelope that was supposed to contain all the files taken out of the White House. In addition, Trump’s representatives signed a letter pledging that no more classified documents remain at the headquarters.
But the FBI’s investigation came to a different conclusion. CCTV footage and witness statements showed Trump’s team was lying, and the court-ordered raid on August 8 confirmed it.
“Efforts were apparently made to obstruct the government’s investigation,” according to a court filing filed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
A court filing released last week includes an evidence photo from the FBI raid. It shows a series of folders with documents marked “TOP SECRET” that agents found in Trump’s office at Mar-A-Lago.
Most of the folder fronts are whited out in the image due to the sensitivity of the information. According to The Washington Post, during the raid, investigators had to verify whether they even had a clearance to handle the confiscated files.
Classified documents were found with Trump, he is suspected of violating the Espionage Act
Some of them may have involved nuclear weapons or been obtained by the White House through human resources whose disclosure would put them in mortal danger. The top-secret files could also describe US operations abroad, according to American media.
At the same time, according to the FBI, a woman with ties to Russian gangs who pretended to be the heiress of the Rothschild family broke into Trump’s residence in the past.
How to judge ex/presidents
The American media is now trying to decipher the contents of the documents from the published footage. Some of the boards are marked with the acronym HCS-P, meaning they contain sensitive information about CIA and other intelligence agents operating in the field, said security expert Michael V. Hayden of George Mason University.
ABC News then deciphered the dates on some of the plates – May 9, 2018 or August 26 of the same year.
The media is leaking photos of secret documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
In connection with the Mar-A-Lago raid, the Justice Department is investigating Trump for possible violations of the Espionage Act and for withholding, destroying or falsifying records to obstruct an investigation. He faces a high prison sentence for these crimes.
However, the American legal system is not clear on how to proceed in the indictment of current or former presidents. Trump also faces investigation for trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which he lost. He himself denies any blame and considers the Mar-A-Lago raid to be politically motivated.
A federal judge on Monday granted a request by Trump’s lawyers to appoint an independent expert to review the seized documents.
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