Former President Donald Trump on Sunday called on the Justice Department to return the stacks of documents FBI agents seized at his Mar-a-Lago resort last week, citing a report that said the information under the attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.
“Oh great! It was just learned that in the now famous Mar-a-Lago raid, the FBI took boxes of privileged ‘lawyer-client’ material, as well as “executive” privileged material, which they deliberately shouldn’t have taken. Trump said on his Truth Social site.
“By a copy of this TRUTH, I respectfully request that these documents be returned immediately to the location from which they came. Thank you!” said the former president in the message.
Fox News reported, citing sources close to the investigation, that Team Trump had been told that at least five boxes — labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33 and a set of documents – were taken. contained information under the authority of the search warrant that falls within the attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.
The documents were among a cache of materials retrieved from Trump’s palatial home in Palm Beach last Monday, including folders with photographs, a handwritten note, a leather-bound box of documents, an “executive grant of clementy” for old assistant Roger Stone, according to a property list of items released Friday by the FBI.
Agents also found 11 boxes of classified information, marked with varying levels of security, including top secret, confidential and “TS/SCI”, which refers to top secret/sensitive compartmentalized information, a special category intended to protect the country’s most delicate secrets.
Trump has disputed that the documents had been classified, claiming that he released them.
A representative of the 45th president, John Solomon, read a statement Friday night on Fox News claiming that Trump had a “standing order” while in the White House that “documents removed from the Oval Office and sent to the residence were deemed to be released the moment he removed them.”
But a member of Trump’s legal team signed a written statement in June during a visit by Justice Department officials claiming that all of the classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been returned to the government, the New York Times reported. Saturday.
According to the warrant, federal agents were investigating possible violations of federal law, including the Espionage Act.
The three statutes prohibit the collection, transmission or loss of defense information, the concealment, deletion or mutilation of documents, or the destruction, alternation of falsification of data in federal investigations.
And while presidents have a lot of freedom to release documents while in office, that power ends once they leave office.
With Post wires