In an extraordinary development, multiple reports revealed Friday that FBI agents seized classified records from former President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago during its unprecedented raid on Monday, including some marked as top secret.
The warrant was signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart on Aug. 5, giving the FBI authority to conduct its search “on or before August 19, 2022,” and “in the daytime 6:00 am. to 10:00 p.m.”
“The locations to be searched include the ‘45 Office,’ all storage rooms, and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by FPOTUS and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate,” the warrant states, but did not give authority to agents to search areas being occupied by Mar-a-Lago members or not used by Trump and staff.
The warrant gave agents the authority to seize “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed” in violation of U.S. Code, including documents with classification markings and presidential records created between Jan. 20, 2017 and Jan. 20, 2021.
According to the property receipt, FBI agents took approximately 20 boxes of items from the premises, including one set of documents marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” which refers to top secret/ sensitive information.
The property receipt also shows that FBI agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents.
The list also includes a “leatherbound box of documents,” binders of photos, handwritten notes, miscellaneous documents, miscellaneous top secret documents, miscellaneous confidential documents, and other records.
The former president and his team are disputing the classification and believe the information and records to have been declassified.
Trump posted on his TRUTH Social account Friday that the documents were “all declassified.”
“Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything,” Trump posted. “They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago.”
Trump added: “It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
The extraordinary revelation came a day after Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday, in a rare public statement, said the Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal the warrant and property receipt for the search of the residence of a former president of the United States, “in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
“The public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing,” the DOJ’s motion states, noting that Trump should have the opportunity to respond tot he motion and “lodge objections, including with regard to any ‘legitimate private interests’ or the potential for other ‘injury’ if these materials are made public.”