“: Top-secret documents, info ‘re: the President of France’ and a Roger Stone clemency grant: What the FBI took from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago”
Former president under investigation for possible violations of Espionage Act
Details of what the FBI took from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate were released Friday, including top-secret documents.
Agents took binders of photos, a handwritten note and a grant of clemency for Trump ally Roger Stone, according to a list of items removed Monday from the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach, Fla.
Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday said the Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal a search warrant relating to the search of Mar-a-Lago, noting that the former president had made public statements about the search, “as is his right.” Trump later said he wouldn’t oppose the unsealing request, and said he was calling for the documents to be released immediately.
Reports including by the Wall Street Journal had detailed much of what FBI agents took from Trump’s estate before the list was made public late Friday afternoon.
The New York Times reported agents who executed the search warrant did so “to investigate potential crimes associated with violations of the Espionage Act, which outlaws the unauthorized retention of national security information that could harm the United States or aid a foreign adversary; a federal law that makes it a crime to destroy or conceal a document to obstruct a government investigation; and another statute associated with unlawful removal of government materials.”
The former president’s lawyers were given until 3 p.m. Eastern time on Friday to respond to Garland’s move to unseal the search warrant.
The Justice Department said in a court filing that Trump’s lawyers told federal prosecutors they did not object to the government’s request to unseal the information, the Journal reported.
In a statement on Friday, Trump alleged that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, took classified documents with him when he left the White House in January 2017, positing that this was “[t]he bigger problem.”
The National Archives and Records Administration swiftly disputed that assertion, saying in a statement that it had “assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017.”
Those, according to the agency, are being held at a NARA facility in the Chicago area. The Obama Presidential Center is under construction in that city.
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