An FBI affidavit revealed that Donald Trump brought classified documents, some of which were marked as top secret, home to Mar-a-Lago.
Even in its redacted form the 32-page document contains additional information about a criminal investigation into Donald Trump, as he prepares for another presidential run.
It was released by the US Justice Department and highlights the number of sensitive documents Mr Trump took to Mar-a-Lago. The FBI also raised concerns about the illegal retention of the records.
Although there are many details related to the investigation, officials have also redacted large portions to protect witnesses’ identities and avoid disclosing sensitive investigative tactics.
Continue reading: If you thought that Donald Trump’s first appearance was insane, wait until the sequel
Trump was investigated under the Espionage Act. He had ‘top secret documents’ taken from Florida.
“The government is conducting an investigation regarding the improper removal, storage and concealment of classified information within unauthorised spaces as well as the illegal concealment or removal government records,” an FBI agent wrote in the first page of the affidavit. He was seeking permission from a judge to issue a warrant for the search of the property.
The affidavit doesn’t provide any new information about the 11 sets classified records that were found during the 8 August Mar-a-Lago search.
It did however describe a separate batch with 15 boxes that National Archives and Records Administration received in January from the home – one year after he left the White House.
According to the affidavit officials found 184 documents with classification markings in those boxes.
Agents who examined the boxes discovered markings that were related to confidential human sources and information related to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
According to the agent, the Justice Department had probable cause to believe that there were additional such records still in Mr Trump’s house.
FBI presented the affidavit before a judge in order to obtain a warrant for searching Mr Trump’s property.
Analysis: What is the reason Trump had these documents?
It was a handover from Donald Trump’s documents to the National Archives eight month ago that proved to be crucial in the FBI’s raid on Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago house this month.
After months of pressure, Trump’s team handed over 15 boxes worth of documents in January.
National Archives teams examined the boxes and found 700 pages of classified documents. The case was referred to the Justice department, and an investigation was initiated.
The FBI discovered 184 documents with different classification markings within 15 boxes.
Sixty-seven of the documents were classified as confidential, 92 as secrets and 25 as top secrets. Insiders consider a top secret document to be one that could cause extremely grave harm to national security.
Witnesses claimed that there might be more presidential material at Mar-a-Lago, according to the affidavit.
The raid was prompted by witness testimony and examination of CCTV footage taken from Mar-a-Lago that allegedly shows documents being moved around.
These documents were not his. Why did he want them? How will this affect the country? Many questions remain.
A Memorandum on Law, which is a separate document, explains the need to redact the affidavit. It states that “revealing this information could severely handicap the government as it seeks additional information from witnesses… These concerns in this case are especially compelling… In short, government has well-founded concerns that steps might be taken to hinder or otherwise interfere this investigation if the facts in the affidavit are prematurely disclosed.”
Referring to the FBI witnesses, the Memorandum of Law states: “If witnesses’ identities become public, they could face harms such as retaliation and intimidation, harassment, or threats to their safety… These concerns in this case are not hypothetical.”
The search warrant affidavit does not prove a crime. It is the Justice Department’s belief in probable cause that a crime was committed.
On social media, Mr Trump wrote: “Affidavit heavily deleted!” Nothing was mentioned on “Nuclear”, a total PR subterfuge of the FBI & DOJ or our close working relationship concerning document turnover – WE GAVE THEM LOTS.
Judge Bruce Reinhart should never have allowed the break-in of my house. Two months ago, he resigned from one of my cases due to his animosity towards me and hatred of my favorite President.
“What changed? “What has changed? Why has he not recused himself from this case?” Obama must be proud right now!
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