FBI affidavit for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago says 184 classified documents found

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BREAKING NEWS: This story will be updated regularly with additional details from the affidavit.

FBI agents this month sought permission from the court to search former President Donald Trump’s home after looking at 184 classified documents kept at the Florida property after he left the White House — including several bearing his distinct handwriting. Trump on it — and interviewing “a significant number of citizens witnesses,” the court said, which was disclosed Friday.

The details in an affidavit and related memo, nearly three weeks after the Aug. 8 search, underscore the high stakes and unprecedented nature of an ongoing criminal investigation into whether Trump and his aides took classified government papers and refused to return all materials. — even despite repeated requests from senior law enforcement officers.

The affidavit suggests that if some of the classified documents returned from Mar-a-Lago to the National Archives in January had fallen into the wrong hands, they could have revealed sensitive details about human intelligence sources, or how espionage agencies used to control electronic communications. foreign targets.

“There is also probable reason to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found,” the affidavit says.

Trump’s Secret Papers and the “Myth” of the Presidential Security Clearance

Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart read the affidavit and approved the search on Aug. 5. bedroom, office and a storage room on the first floor, according to an inventory made public earlier this month of what has been removed from the building.

Those boxes contain 11 sets of classified documents, the inventory says.

The search warrant stated that officers were looking for any “physical documents and data containing evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of three possible crimes,” including some of the Espionage Act that it is collecting, transmitting or losing national defense information. The order also mentions destruction of documents and concealment or mutilation of government material.

Of the 38 pages in the affidavit, nearly half have been wholly or largely redacted. In a statement after the document was unsealed, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said: “This is a serious mockery, and what has not been redacted only further supports President Trump’s position, there was NO reason for a raid – it’s all political.” !”

Affidavits are detailed documents about an investigation that law enforcement officers submit to judges in the hope that they will approve their search warrant requests. The affidavit usually contains important information about witnesses, why officers believe evidence of a crime may be found on a particular property or device, and investigative steps taken prior to a search.

It is unusual to make the details of such an affidavit public, especially in an ongoing investigation. But numerous media organizations and other parties have asked for the document to be made public, citing the extreme public interest in the case involving a former president who may run for president again in 2024.

Reinhart granted the request to disclose the affidavit, but allowed the Justice Department to suggest editing information that government officials said could jeopardize the investigation or safety of witnesses.

The affidavit says federal agents requested permission to conduct the search after examining the contents of 15 boxes that Trump returned to the National Archives earlier this year and found documents with classification markings. Some were marked “HCS”, a category of top secret government information; others involved the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and material not intended to be shared with foreign countries. The acronym “HCS” stands for “HUMINT Control Systems” and refers to the government systems used to protect information collected from secret human sources, the affidavit said.

In total, according to the affidavit, those boxes contain 184 unique documents with classification markings. Some of the documents, the affidavit said, contained what appear to be Trump’s handwritten notes. Twenty-five of these were marked top secret, while 92 were marked the lower classification of “secret”; 67 were marked “confidential”, the lowest level of classification.

Archives asked for documents after Trump lawyer agreed to return them, email says

The affidavit also includes a May 25 letter from Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to the Justice Department defending the president’s conduct by stating that Trump had ultimate classification authority within the administration. In the letter, Corcoran insisted that his client cooperated with the investigation and complained of leaks. Criminalizing Trump’s conduct over classified documents, Corcoran argued, would “entail serious constitutional separation of powers.” The attorney requested that any request to a judge or grand jury regarding the investigation include the letter defending Trump.

A separate, partially redacted document, also unsealed Friday, details prosecutors’ motives for withholding key portions of the affidavit, and shows that a large number of individuals have provided the FBI with information about classified documents found in March. a-Lago were preserved. .

The memo says the editing of the affidavit was required to “protect the safety and privacy of a significant number of civilian witnesses, in addition to law enforcement personnel, as well as to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation and to prevent disclosure to the grand jury.” .” material.”

The search reinforced Trump’s longstanding animosity toward the Justice Department and the FBI. Emails, documents and interviews show it followed months of conflict between the former president and law enforcement over the custody of the documents — which are protected by the Presidential Records Act — in the custody of the National Archives and Records. administration.

Some of the material found in the search is considered extremely sensitive, two people familiar with the search said, and could reveal carefully kept secrets about intelligence-gathering methods in the US. One of the people said the information is “one of the most sensitive secrets we have”.

Like others interviewed about the search, the two people spoke on a condition of anonymity to discuss details that have not been released publicly.

This is a story in development. It will be updated.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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