In addition to treasure troves of information marked “secret” and “top secret,” the FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home uncovered more than 10,000 unmarked U.S. government documents and photographs. classification, the Department of Justice recently announced. inventory seized items shows.
The Ministry of Justice filing in court, filed under seal earlier this week but unsealed by a judge on Friday, also shows that investigators found more than 40 empty files with “classified” banners on them at Mar-a-Lago. It is unclear what happened to the information that was in the files.
They also found nearly four dozen empty folders marked “Return to Secretary of Staff/Military Aid,” according to the detailed asset inventory.
The documents and photos without classification markings were found in boxes and containers in Trump’s office and storage room. It does not specify how many were documents and how many were photos or their subject.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ordered the information in the more detailed property receipt to to be unsealed during a hearing on Thursday on Trump’s request to have a special master examine the evidence collected by the FBI during the August 8 search.
Trump’s lawyers had complained that the initial property receipt the government gave them after the search — which showed federal agents removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some labeled secret and top secret — was too vague and did not say which items were found where.
The new version doesn’t shed much more light on the documents found by investigators, but it does show that many of them were found in boxes and containers inside Trump’s ‘Office 45’ in the station.
That’s important because Trump’s lawyers told investigators that all records from the White House were kept in a Mar-a-Lago storage room, which agents had asked to be kept in a safe place, according to the sources. government court documents. That exchange took place in June, after the government subpoenaed Trump to turn over all documents with classification marks and Trump’s attorney assured them they had done so.
The Justice Department said the August search revealed “about 100 unique records with classification marks,” and the new property receipt indicates some were randomly retained. A “box/container” in the storage room contained 21 documents marked “Secret” and 11 documents marked “Confidential” along with newspaper clippings, a book and three “clothing items/gifts”.
During the hearing, Trump’s attorneys suggested the documents were Trump’s personal records and complained that “ongoing negotiations” with the National Archives had “suddenly turned into a criminal investigation.”
Lawyers for the Justice Department said all government documents recovered belonged to the White House, not Trump, and then he and his lawyers flouted a subpoena demanding the return of all documents with classification marks.