Details of what the FBI took from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate have begun leaking out Friday, with reports saying agents removed 11 sets of classified documents — including some marked top secret.
The Wall Street Journal reported that agents took some 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and a grant of clemency for Trump ally Roger Stone, according to a list of items removed Monday from the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach.
That list also includes information about the “President of France,” the Journal reported, and is contained in a document that also comprises the search warrant for Trump’s property. NBC News also reported on the items.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday said the Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal a search warrant relating to the search of Mar-a-Lago, noting that the former president had made public statements about the search, “as is his right.” Trump later said he wouldn’t oppose the unsealing request, and said he was calling for the documents to be released immediately.
The New York Times reported agents who executed the search warrant did so “to investigate potential crimes associated with violations of the Espionage Act, which outlaws the unauthorized retention of national security information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary; a federal law that makes it a crime to destroy or conceal a document to obstruct a government investigation; and another statute associated with unlawful removal of government materials.”
The former president’s lawyers had until 3 p.m. Eastern time on Friday to respond to Garland’s move to unseal the search warrant. The attorney general also wants to unseal the property receipt related to the search of Trump’s residence.
In a statement on Friday, Trump alleged that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, took classified documents with him, positing that this was “[t]he bigger problem.”
The National Archives and Records Administration swiftly disputed that assertion, saying in a statement that it had “assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017.”
Those, according to the agency, are being held at a NARA facility in the Chicago area. The Obama Presidential Center is under construction in that city.
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