Trump’s search inventory reveals new details about FBI seizure

WASHINGTON — In addition to highly classified government documents, FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida found dozens of empty folders marked classified but with nothing inside and no explanation of what might have happened. could have been there, according to a more detailed inventory of seizures. material made public on Friday.

Officers also found more than 10,000 other government documents held by Trump without marked classification.

The inventory compiled by the Justice Department reveals in broad terms the contents of 33 boxes and containers taken from Trump’s office and storage room at Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search. Although the inventory does not describe the contents of the documents, it does show the extent to which classified information – including documents at the top secret level – was hidden in boxes at home and mixed with newspapers, magazines, clothing and other personal items.

And the empty files raise questions about whether the government has recovered all of the classified documents Trump kept after he left the White House.

The inventory highlights for the first time the volume of unclassified government records at home, even though presidential records were to be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration. The Archives had tried unsuccessfully for months to get them back from Trump, then contacted the FBI after locating classified information in a batch of 15 boxes received in January.

The Department of Justice said there was no safe space at Mar-a-Lago for sensitive government secrets, and opened a criminal investigation focused on keeping them there and what it was. said there have been efforts in recent months to obstruct the investigation. It also investigates potential violations of a law that criminalizes the mutilation or concealment of government records, classified or unclassified.

Trump’s attorneys did not immediately return an email seeking comment on Friday. Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich claimed the FBI search was a ‘SMASH AND GRAB’ – although the Justice Department was granted court permission to search specific areas of the home.

The inventory was released as the Justice Department begins its criminal investigation, as intelligence agencies assess any national security risk caused by the mishandling of classified information and a judge assesses whether to to appoint a special master – essentially an outside legal expert – to review the records.

The inventory had been filed under seal earlier, but the Justice Department had said that given the “extraordinary circumstances” it had no objection to making it public. Trump himself has already requested the disclosure of documents related to the search. U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon said Thursday she planned to unseal the inventory and did so on Friday.

In total, the inventory shows the FBI seized more than 100 documents with classification marks in August, including 18 marked top secret, 54 secret and 31 confidential. The FBI had identified 184 documents marked as classified in 15 boxes recovered by the Archives in January, and received additional classified documents in a single Redweld envelope during a June visit to Mar-a-Lago.