Fourteen of the 15 boxes recovered from former President Trump’s Florida estate contained classified documents, many of which are top secret, mixed with miscellaneous newspapers, magazines, and personal correspondence, reported an FBI affidavit on Friday.
The court documents outlined the FBI’s justification for searching the property this month, including “probable cause to think that evidence of obstruction will be found,” and stated that no area at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort was authorized for the storage of secret material.
The 32-page affidavit is the most thorough account to date of the federal papers kept at Mar-a-Lago even after Trump departed the White House. It is highly redacted to protect the safety of witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and “the integrity of the current investigation.” It also highlights how serious the government’s worries were that the records were there unlawfully.
The document clarifies how the haphazard retention of classified top secret government records and the apparent failure to safeguard them, despite months of entreaties from US officials, has exposed Tump to fresh legal peril just as he lays the groundwork for another potential presidential run in 2024.
“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” an FBI agent wrote on the first page of the affidavit.
Federal agents are looking into possible violations of a number of laws, including one that regulates gathering, distributing, or losing defense material under the Espionage Act, according to documents that have previously been made public. The other laws cover the destruction, alteration, or fabrication of records in federal investigations as well as their concealment, mutilation, or removal.
Trump has consistently asserted that he fully cooperated with government officials despite abundant evidence to the contrary. Additionally, he has won over Republicans by portraying the investigation as a politically driven witch hunt designed to hurt his chances of winning reelection. On his social media page on Friday, he reiterated that theme and stated that he and his representatives had a tight working relationship with the FBI and “gave them much.”
Source: Agencies (editted by Al-Manar English Website)