FBI search warrant shows Trump under investigation for possible obstruction of justice and Espionage Act violations

The warrant shows federal law enforcement was investigating Trump for removing or destroying records, obstruction of justice and violating the Espionage Act, which can include crimes beyond espionage , such as refusing to return national security documents upon request. Conviction under the statutes can result in jail time or fines.

The documents, released after the Justice Department demanded their public release amid relentless attacks from Trump and his Republican allies, underscore the extraordinary threat to national security that federal investigators believed the missing documents posed. The concern grew so much that Attorney General Merrick Garland approved an unprecedented search of Trump’s property last week.

The release of the documents comes four days after Trump publicly confirmed the FBI’s court-authorized search of his Mar-a-Lago home, rallying his political allies to unleash fierce criticism of federal investigators. But the details of the order underscore the gravity of the investigation — an unprecedented investigation of a former president for mishandling some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets.

Trump has said since Monday that he has been cooperating with National Archives and FBI investigators for months and that the unannounced search was an unnecessary escalation. But after several rounds of negotiations in which the archives recovered materials, federal investigators came to believe that Trump had not returned everything he had.

The search warrant, signed Aug. 5 by Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, revealed that dozens of items were seized, most vaguely described as “leather-bound document box,” “binder of photos” and “handwritten note”.

Other items on the list indicate the presence of classified material, describing them as “miscellaneous secret documents” and “miscellaneous confidential documents.”

Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said the former Trump ally “has no knowledge of the facts surrounding his clemency documents that appear in the inventory of items seized from former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago.”

Shortly after 3 in the afternoon, the Confirmed by the Department of Justice that Trump’s lawyers would not object to the public release of the search warrant and the underlying receipt of materials, which had already begun to circulate widely.

Meridith McGraw contributed to this report.

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