Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant Released, Reveals FBI Seized Top Secret Documents

The federal government is investigating former President Trump for possible violation of three criminal statutes, including the Espionage Act, according to the unsealed document. search order which was executed Monday at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence and reviewed by CBS News. The FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents, including four sets that were classified as “top secret,” according to the order.

According to the unsealed warrant, the FBI collected boxes marked secret, secret and confidential, as well as documents marked with classified information, photos and information about the president of France, among other things.

The former president’s defense team on Friday he did not object to the release of the order. Trump himself said in a statement Thursday afternoon that he encouraged the release of the order. On Friday, he posted on Truth Social before the release of the warrant that the documents were “all declassified” and that the FBI “didn’t have to ‘seize anything’.”

“They could have had it any time they wanted without politicking and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secure storage, with an extra lock on at their request,” Trump posted on Truth Social.

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, on August 6, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.


According to the warrant, federal law enforcement officials are investigating the former president for destruction, removal or destruction of records, obstruction of an investigation and violation of a provision of the Espionage Act related to the collection, transmission or loss of defense information.

The search warrant was signed by a Florida federal court judge on August 5, several days before the search.

It’s not yet clear what records the FBI took during its search, though two sources told CBS News on Monday that the The FBI took boxes and documents while executing a search warrant at the former president’s home in Florida. Sources said no electronic devices were taken.

The property to be seized, according to the order, involved “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, proceeds of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 USC § § 793, 2071, or 1519,” the applicable legal codes. .

The order applied to any government or presidential records created between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021, any records containing classified documents, and any information on the retrieval, storage or transmission of national defense information or classified material. Federal authorities had permission to search “Office 45,” all storage rooms, and all other rooms or areas used or available to the former president and his staff in which records could be stored.

“The Biden administration is clearly in damage control after its botched raid where they seized the president’s picture books, a ‘handwritten note’ and declassified documents,” Trump’s spokesman said Friday, Taylor Budowich, in a statement. “This raid on President Trump’s home was not only unprecedented, it was unnecessary, and now they are leaking lies and innuendo to try to explain away the government’s weaponization of his dominant political opponent. This is outrageous.”

In 2018, then-President Trump signed a law Upgrade mishandling of secret records from a misdemeanor to a felony. The signing followed Republican criticism of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information.

Several former NSC and White House officials under Trump told CBS News that the former president was known for the brash way he handled classified information.

“Obviously, yes, there were concerns that he mishandled classified information,” a former NSC official, who would speak only on background, told CBS in a phone interview when asked about the concerns of NSC officials. NSC. The official said Trump “mishandled” classified information with the Japanese and the Russians. “That made people angry,” the official said. “We’ve been very careful with this.”

A former Trump White House official confirmed to CBS News that Trump had a habit of reading documents, tearing them into pieces and putting them in the trash.

Lower-level staff would painstakingly tape the documents together.

That former official described Trump as having “disdain” for the records retention process.

Major Garrett contributed to this report.

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Kathryn Watson


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