Blacked-out affidavit shows Trump had taken ‘top secret’ documents home to Mar-a-Lago

US

Donald Trump took classified documents – some marked top secret – home to his Mar-a-Lago residence, an FBI affidavit has revealed.

The 32-page document, even in its redacted form, contains additional details about an ongoing criminal investigation into Mr Trump as he lays the groundwork for another presidential run.

Released by the US Justice Department, it highlights the amount of sensitive government documents that Mr Trump had taken to Mar-a-Lago and FBI concerns that the records were retained illegally.

While there are a number of details relating to the investigation, officials also redacted large chunks to protect the identity of witnesses and to avoid revealing sensitive investigative tactics.

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“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorised spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” an FBI agent wrote on the first page of the affidavit in seeking a judge’s permission for a warrant to search the property

The affidavit does not provide new details about the 11 sets of classified records recovered during the 8 August search at Mar-a-Lago.

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However, it described a separate batch of 15 boxes that the National Archives and Records Administration received from the home in January – a year after he had left the White House.

In those boxes, according to the affidavit, officials located 184 documents bearing classification markings, including 67 marked as confidential, 92 secret and 25 top secret.

An armed Secret Service agent stands outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump said in a lengthy statement that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broken open a safe. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
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An armed Secret Service agent stands outside the Mar-a-Lago estate as FBI agents searched the property

Agents who inspected the boxes found markings related to information provided by confidential human sources as well as information related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The agent said the Justice Department had reason to believe there were more such records that had not been returned to the government still sitting inside Mr Trump’s home.

The FBI submitted the affidavit to a judge so it could obtain a warrant to search Mr Trump’s property on 8 August.

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Mr Trump reacted on social media, writing: “Affidavit heavily redacted!!! Nothing mentioned on “Nuclear,” a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover – WE GAVE THEM MUCH.

“Judge Bruce Reinhart should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home. He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me.

“What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!”

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