The Department of Justice on Friday told a magistrate judge that former President Donald Trump had no objection to unsealing the search and seizure warrant and evidence receipt from the search of his residence on Monday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 12 (UPI) — The search warrant executed at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence shows top secret documents were among the items removed by the FBI.
A redacted inventory of items seized from Trump, who is under investigation for potential obstruction of justice and violations of the Espionage Act, shows that agents seized at least four sets of “miscellaneous” Top Secret documents.
The inventory, ordered to be released Friday by Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, noted that the Top Secret documents were among “various classified/TS/SCI documents.”
Agents took three sets of “miscellaneous” documents categorized at a lower Secret level, as well as a “confidential document” that was not described and two others described as “miscellaneous confidential documents.”
Information regarding the “President of France” was also seized, though it was not immediately clear how the information related to French President Emmanuel Macron.
The FBI also seized the executive grant of clemency for Trump ally Roger Stone.
Other items seized include a “potential presidential record” and a handwritten note, as well as two binders of photos. The contents of the note and photos were not immediately known.
Of the boxes with documents seized by the FBI, there were 26 labeled A-1, A-12 to A-18, A-22 to A-28, A-30, A-32 to A-35, A39 to A-43, A-71 and A-73. Another item seized was described as a “leatherbound box of documents.”
The warrant, which was also unsealed Friday, shows that authorities wanted to search locations within the Mar-a-Lago mansion, including the so-called “45 Office” and all storage rooms used by the former president and his staff in which boxes of documents could be stored.
The search did not include areas occupied or rented by third parties such as private guest suites at Mar-a-Lago that would not be used by Trump and his staff.
The documents were seized for being “illegally possessed” in violation of federal law including the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice, citing 18 U.S. Code §§ 793, 2071 and 1519.
The Espionage Act, located in-part under U.S.C. §§ 793, pertains to the gathering and transmitting of defense information and notes that anyone guilty of having removed defense documents from their proper place of custody can be fined and imprisoned up to 10 years.
The second law, U.S.C. §§ 2071, pertains to whoever attempts to willfully and unlawfully remove, conceal, mutilate or destroy records and notes that those guilty can be fined and imprisoned for up to three years, as well as be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.
Under the third law cited in the warrant, anyone who alters, destroys or conceals documents to obstruct or influence an investigation or administration a matter of a federal department or agency can be fined and imprisoned up to 20 years.
Several news organizations, as well as the advocacy group Judicial Watch, had filed motions requesting the warrant and inventory be unsealed over the course of the last week.
Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich called the search “outrageous” in a statement Friday and described it as a “botched raid where they seized the President’s picture books, a ‘handwritten note,’ and declassified documents.”
House Intelligence Committee ranking Republican Rep. Mike Turner of Ohio said Friday during a news conference he has serious concerns about the decision to “raid” former President Trump’s residence.
Turner said he has requested that Attorney General Merrick Garland and the FBI disclose the national security basis for the search of Trump’s residence. Turner said Garland and the FBI should “disclose to this committee the imminent threat to national security that they used to raid Trump’s home.”
Turner and other Republicans said in the press conference that the affidavit upon which the search was based should be made public.
Classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the things FBI agents were looking for when they searched Trump’s residence, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
“The Department did not make any public statements about the search, and the search apparently attracted little or no public attention as it was taking place,” the Department of Justice said in a motion filed in the southern district of Florida to unseal the warrant and FBI property receipt.
Trump late Thursday wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social, that he was in favor of making the court documents public and he called for their “immediate release.”
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday from the Justice Department that he personally approved the search warrant, which was executed on Monday.
Agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday night. As expected, the search, under the authority of a judge’s warrant, drew backlash from Trump, who criticized the operation as politically motivated.
Copies of both the warrant and FBI property receipt were provided to Trump’s counsel, Garland said, and the search warrant was authorized by a court upon probable cause into potential mishandling of classified documents that ended up at Mar-a-Lago.
All presidential records are required to go to the National Archives when a president leaves office.