Documents taken in Trump raid included files marked top secret, report says

Politics

A member of the Secret Service is seen in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022.
Giorgio Viera | AFP | Getty Images

The FBI seized multiple sets of documents marked top secret from former President Donald Trump’s resort home Mar-a-Lago when agents carried out a search warrant there Monday, according to a new report.

Eleven sets of classified documents were among the materials seized in the raid, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing documents reviewed by the outlet. One group of files was reportedly marked “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which includes an abbreviation for top-secret/sensitive compartmented information.

The others were four sets of top secret documents, three groups of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents, the Journal reported.

The agents took 20 boxes of items, along with binders of photos, one handwritten note and the “executive grant of clemency” for Roger Stone, a Republican political operative whom Trump had pardoned, according to the newspaper.

Information about the president of France was also on the list of items removed from Mar-a-Lago, the Journal reported.

Attorneys for Trump have argued that the president declassified the materials before the end of his one term in office, the Journal reported. Trump, who has criticized the Justice Department since he first revealed the raid Monday evening, has argued that his team had been cooperating with authorities.

A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The FBI was looking for nuclear documents in Trump’s home, among other items, the Washington Post reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the investigation.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Justice Department would file a motion in court to make the search warrant public, in light of the “substantial public interest in this matter.”

Garland also noted that he had personally approved the warrant, and condemned the wave of attacks on the FBI and DOJ that followed Trump’s announcement about the raid.

The Journal’s report on the search warrant and related materials came less than two hours before a 3 p.m. ET deadline for the DOJ to inform U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart whether Trump’s lawyers would oppose the agency’s motion to disclose the warrant.

Trump, in an apparent defense against the allegations against him, claimed on social media that former President Barack Obama “kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified,” after leaving office.

The National Archives and Records Administration appeared to push back on his claims, explaining that those pages of records were unclassified and moved to a facility in Chicago “where they are maintained exclusively by NARA.”

Obama “has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration,” NARA said.

But Trump repeated the claim in a subsequent statement, which also asserted that the Mar-a-Lago records were “all declassified.”

“They didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything,” read the statement sent by Trump’s office. “They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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