Trump Under Investigation for Potential Obstruction of Justice, Espionage Act Violations

  • In Business
  • 2022-08-12 20:05:50Z
  • By National Review

Law enforcement is investigating former president Donald Trump for removal or destruction of records, obstruction of an investigation, and violating the Espionage Act, according to the search warrant for the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago that took place on Monday.

A federal judge unsealed the search warrant for Trump's residence, as well as other related documents on Friday afternoon. The Justice Department revealed earlier on Friday that Trump's lawyers would not object to the documents' release.

Meanwhile, a list of items removed from the property shows the FBI recovered eleven sets of classified documents during the search, including some top-secret documents that should only have been available in special government facilities.

FBI agents recovered one set of documents that were labeled "Various classified/TS/SCI documents," meaning the documents included top-secret or sensitive compartmented information.

The list also included four sets of top-secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list did not offer any details about the substance of the documents.

The list, which was included in a seven-page document that featured the warrant to search the premises, reveals that FBI agents took roughly 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note, and the executive grant of clemency for Roger Stone, as well as information about the president of France.

Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich told the Wall Street Journal in a statement: "The Biden administration is in obvious damage control after their botched raid where they seized the President's picture books, a 'hand written note,' and declassified documents. This raid of President Trump's home was not just unprecedented, but unnecessary."

Trump issued a statement on Friday saying: "Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn't need to 'seize' anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request. They could have had it anytime they wanted - and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK."

The search-and-seizure warrant said FBI agents were looking to search "the 45 Office," and "all storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [the former president] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate."

The news comes one day after Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that he "personally approved" the FBI search. He said in a statement delivered from the Department on Justice that the agency "does not take such a decision lightly where possible."

"It is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken," Garland said.

He said that the DOJ has filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal the search warrant that FBI agents used to search Trump's residence "in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter."

Trump responded on Thursday calling for the "immediate" release of the warrant.

The former president posted on his Truth Social platform: "Not only will I not oppose the release of documents … I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents." 

"Release the documents now!" he wrote.

The National Archives and Records Administration previously recovered 15 boxes of records in January, including items "marked as classified national security information."

A source told the Washington Post that an inventory of unclassified items in the recovered boxes is 100 pages long. Recovered items that were improperly taken to Mar-a-Lago include a cocktail napkin, a birthday dinner menu, a phone list, charts, slide decks, letters, memos, maps, talking points, schedules, and more, according to the report.

  • Attorney General Garland Says He 'Personally Approved' Mar-a-Lago Raid

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