FBI agents who searched former US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Monday removed 11 sets of classified documents, including some marked as top secret and meant to be only available in special government facilities, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The FBI agents took around 20 boxes of items, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Trump’s ally Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property shows.
Also included in the list was information about the “President of France,” according to the three-page list. The list is contained in a seven-page document that also includes the warrant to search the premises which was granted by a federal magistrate judge in Florida, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The list includes references to one set of documents marked as “Various classified/TS/SCI documents,” an abbreviation that refers to top-secret/sensitive compartmented information, the report said. It also says agents collected four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents, and three sets of confidential documents. The list didn’t provide any more details about the substance of the documents.
Trump’s lawyers argue that the President used his authority to declassify the material before he left office. While a President has the power to declassify documents, there are federal regulations that lay out a process for doing so.
Trump issued a statement on Friday following the report saying, “Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request. They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK. The bigger problem is, what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”
On Thursday, people familiar with the investigation told the Washington Post that classified documents relating to nuclear weapons were among the items FBI agents sought in the search of Trump’s residence.
That report came hours after US Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he personally approved the decision to search Mar-a-Lago residence and is asking a judge to unseal the warrant.
“The department does not take such a decision lightly,” Garland said in his first public comments about the search.
Trump said he was supportive of revealing the contents of the search warrant used by the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago.
"Release the documents now!" Trump said in a Truth Social post at 11:40 p.m. on Thursday, shortly after the judge’s announcement. He added that he agreed with the “immediate release” of the contents of the warrant.
Trump also described the raids on his home as "unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary."
On Wednesday, Trump suggested that FBI agents might be "planting" evidence at Mar-a-Lago.
"The FBI and others from the Federal Government would not let anyone, including my lawyers, be anywhere near the areas that were rummaged and otherwise looked at during the raid on Mar-a-Lago," Trump posted on his Truth Social platform.
"Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, 'planting,'" he added.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)