WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI agents who raided former President Donald Trump’s Florida mansion have found top-secret government documents A more detailed inventory revealed dozens of empty folders classified, but with nothing inside and no explanation as to what was there. of the seized materials released Friday.
Agents also found more than 10,000 other government documents held by Trump unclassified.
An inventory compiled by the Justice Department generally reveals the contents of 33 boxes and containers removed from Trump’s office and Mar-a-Lago’s vault during the Aug. 8 raid.Although the inventory does not list the contents of the documents, confidential information (including top secret level material) was stored in boxes at home, among newspapers, magazines, clothing, and other personal items. extent is indicated.
And the empty folder raises the question of whether the government has recovered all the classified documents Trump kept after he left the White House.
Even though the president’s records were supposed to be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration, the inventory revealed for the first time the amount of unclassified government documents at home. The Archives contacted the FBI after unsuccessfully trying for months to secure a return from Trump and finding classified information in a batch of 15 boxes it received in January.
The Justice Department said Mar-a-Lago does not have a secure space to store classified government secrets, highlighting its retention there and efforts over the past few months to thwart investigations. Started a criminal investigation. We also investigate possible violations of the law criminalizing the deletion or concealment of government records, whether classified or not.
A Trump attorney did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Friday. had court permission to search specific areas of his home
Inventories released as Justice Department conducts criminal investigations as intelligence agencies assess risks to national security It is due to the improper handling of confidential information, and as a judge, we will consider whether to appoint a special master. — Essentially an outside legal expert — to check the records.
The inventory had been previously sealed and turned over, but the Justice Department did not object to its release, given the “unusual circumstances”. rice field. U.S. District Court Judge Eileen Cannon said Thursday that she plans to open the inventory and did so Friday.
According to the inventory, the FBI seized more than 100 documents in August, of which 18 were classified as Top Secret, 54 as Top Secret, and 31 as Top Secret. The FBI identified 184 documents marked classified from 15 boxes recovered by the National Archives in January, and in June he received one document during a visit to Mar-a-Lago. received additional confidential documents in his Redweld envelope.
The Justice Department said it searched the property in August after finding evidence that the documents were likely “hidden and removed” from the vault as part of an effort to thwart the investigation.
Court filings did not provide an explanation as to why Trump kept the classified documents and why Trump and his representatives did not return them when requested.
Inventory shows that 48 empty folders containing classified banners were removed from the vault or office. Also included is an additional empty folder labeled “Return to Staff Secretary” or Military Aide.
It’s not clear from the inventory list what happened to the documents supposedly inside.
Separately on Friday, the Justice Department said in a court filing that it reviewed the records seized during the recent raids and classified them to ensure they were stored according to appropriate protocols and procedures. He said he had separated the records that had the markings on them.
“The seized materials will continue to be used to advance the government’s investigation, and the investigative team will continue to use and evaluate the seized materials as it undertakes further investigative steps, including additional witness interviews and grand jury practices. ‘,’ said the agency. .
It added that “additional evidence about the seized items,” including how they were stored, would “provide information for government investigations.”
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