Among the first batch of documents that former US President Donald Trump returned to the National Archives, 184 documents were marked classified, including 25 as top secret, according to a partially published FBI statement that was the basis for a search of Trump’s property. There were also supposed to be documents on the personal sources of the services.
The document released on Friday is 38 pages long, but about half of the information has been obliterated to protect the interests of the investigation, the safety of witnesses and agents. The document shows that the investigation in the case Donald Trump started after he handed over in January – at the request of the National Archives Administration – 15 boxes of documents that he had taken from the White House.
As it was written, the boxes contained classified documents extracted from folders “mixed with other documents”. Among them, there were 184 documents marked as classified, including 67 marked as confidential, 92 as secret and 25 as top secret. Some of them were classified as particularly sensitive information accessible to a narrow group of people (SCI), others contained information obtained from secret service informants (HCS).
“Given my training and experience, I know that documents classified at this level usually contain NDI (National Defense Information). Several of the documents contained what appear to be handwritten notes from a former president,” wrote an FBI agent the author of the statement.
FBI: There were grounds for suspecting that Trump failed to hand over all documents in January
The document said the FBI believed it had reason to suspect that Donald Trump failed to hand over all documents containing “national defense information” in January, and the Mar-a-Lago, Florida search was also expected to find evidence of obstruction of the investigation. The prosecution said that one of the grounds for these suspicions was information “from a wide range of civilian witnesses”.
In the previously published protocol on items confiscated during the August revision in Mar-a-Lago investigators wrote that among them there were 11 sets of classified documents, including four boxes of documents marked as top secret.
The document also contained information that the prosecutor’s office informed Trump that the Mar-a-Lago property did not contain adequate safeguards for the storage of classified information.
Trump: A Tightly Truncated Statement
Along with the statement, a letter from Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran was also published, in which he stated, inter alia, that the prosecution has no right to conduct criminal investigations into cases involving classified documents in the possession of former presidents, and that presidents have “absolute powers to declassify documents”. Corcoran also accused the prosecution of leaks from the investigation and warned that charges against the case would pose “serious problems with the constitutional separation of powers.”
The former president’s associates have argued in recent days that Trump, while being president, had ordered the automatic declassification of documents he was taking to Florida. However, no evidence of this has yet been presented.
Trump, who requested the release of the FBI statement in court, criticized on Friday that much of the document was concealed.
“Statement severely truncated !!! Nothing was mentioned about (documents) ‘nuclear’, a total PR scam of the FBI and DOJ (justice ministry),” the former president wrote on his social network TRUTH Social. Trump added that he gave investigators “many” documents.
The current president of the USA Joe BidenWhen asked on Friday whether Trump had harmed national security, he said he would “allow the Justice Ministry to find out.”
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JIM RASSOL