Washington — A modified copy The FBI affidavit used to justify the Aug. 8 search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property was closed Friday, prompting the federal government to recover classified documents including top-secret information. details of the efforts.
The 36-page affidavit, much of which was heavily revised, said that in mid-May, FBI agents conducted a preliminary review of the material. 15 Boxes Trump Returned From His Florida Estate To The National Archives in January and “identified documents with classification marks in fourteen out of fifteen boxes.”
The affidavit states that the agents found 184 unique documents containing classification marks. The affidavit said that 25 documents were marked “top secret”, 67 documents as “confidential” and 92 as “secret”. According to the affidavit, the agents saw markings depicting various control systems designed to protect a variety of sensitive information, including marks designating intelligence gathered by “secret human sources”, such as CIA officers or Reporting to someone working for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
FBI Affidavit Released After US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled on Thursday that the document could be sealed After the Justice Department submitted a proposed amendment.
Reinhart approved the warrant that allowed federal agents to search Trump’s Florida property on August 8, after determining that the affidavit provided probable cause. reinhart repeated Earlier this week he found that there is “probable reason that evidence of several federal crimes would be found” at Mar-a-Lago and that he was “satisfied – and I am satisfied that the facts sworn by the aide are credible.”
FBI agents removed 11 sets of classified documents during an August search, including some labeled secret and top secret property receipt of goods which were confiscated. There were also papers described as “SCI” documents, which stands for the highly classified “Sensitive Compartment Information”.
Much of the section of the document that provided possible reasons for the FBI’s August search was modified, to about 20 pages. An almost completely blacked-out section was titled, “Probable reason to believe that documents classified [National Defense Information] And live on the Presidential Records campus.”
The Justice Department also clarified in the affidavit that any “premature disclosure” of this and other related documents “could have a significant and negative impact on ongoing investigations and undermine its effectiveness by giving criminal parties the opportunity to flee, destroy evidence”. could seriously endanger.” stored electronically and otherwise), change behavior patterns, and notify criminal associations.”
The affidavit noted that based on a federal investigation, the government believed that the storage room where boxes of the president’s records were kept at Mar-a-Lago, as well as Trump’s suite, his office and others. Locations “within the premises” are currently not authorized Spaces for the storage of classified information…”
In June, Justice Department lawyers sent a letter to Trump’s lawyers reiterating that Mar-a-Lago cannot be used to store classified information, according to the affidavit. The DOJ asked in the letter that the room where the documents were stored be “secured and that all boxes from the White House to Mar-a-Lago (along with any other items in that room) be preserved in that room.” room in their present condition until notice.”
The government concluded in the affidavit that “probable reason exists to believe that evidence of U.S. law, prohibited, fruit of the crime, or other items unlawfully placed in breach” would be found on the property.
Accompanying the affidavit is a May 25 letter from Trump’s attorney Evan Corcoran to Jay Bratt, head of the counterintelligence and export controls section at the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
Corcoran described talks with the National Archives as “friendly, open and direct” and called the transfer of the president’s records – as required by law – “voluntary and open”.
Corcoran tried to argue that the president’s actions involving classified documents are not subject to criminal sanctions, as Trump was not “an officer, employee, contractor, or adviser to the United States.”
one in separate 13-page filing On Friday, the Justice Department reiterated its case to amend parts of the affidavit, including those intended to “protect the safety and privacy of a significant number of civilian witnesses in addition to law enforcement.”
“If the identities of witnesses are exposed, they may be subjected to retaliation, intimidation, or harm including harassment and even threats to their physical safety,” the government wrote. recent threats To The board which establishes law After the Mar-a-Lago quest.
The Justice Department also argued that disclosing certain information “could seriously harm the government as it seeks more information from witnesses.” And it said the government has “well-founded concerns that if the facts in the affidavit are prematurely disclosed, steps may be taken to thwart or otherwise interfere with this investigation.”
Reinhart said in his order Thursday that the Justice Department had shown sufficient reason to revise parts of the affidavit, believing that the release of the document in its entirety would protect the identity of witnesses, law enforcement and “independent parties.” Will get to know. Scope and methods of investigation. The Justice Department had also shown that its amendments were “narrowly tailored,” Reinhart wrote.
Mar-a-Lago’s search came earlier this month after documents Found in 15 boxes that Trump exchanged from his Florida property in January were marked classified at a level that suggested they contained some of the government’s most sensitive secrets, according to May 1 letter to Trump’s lawyers From the National Archives and Records Administration.
President’s Records Act It mandates that all records of the President be properly preserved by each administration so that at the end of the administration a complete set is transferred to the National Archives.
Trump also received a federal grand jury subpoena this past spring for sensitive documents the government believed he had retained following his departure from the White House, NBC News said. previously reported, A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the summons pertained to documents Trump’s legal team discussed with Justice Department officials. meeting in early June.