FBI inventory of Trump’s office details empty folders marked classified
Unsealed filing provides greater detail into records seized last month from Mar-a-Lago
Empty folders with classified banners and more than 10,000 government records were among the records seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence last month, according to records unsealed on Friday.
The inventory list provides a more detailed look at what was taken from Mar-a-Lago during the Aug. 8 search. Detailing its removal of 33 boxes from the property, the Justice Department says the items were discovered in an office and storage room.
Classified documents still in Trump’s possession at the time of the search were intermingled with press clippings, unclassified government documents, photographs, clothing and books. The filing notes that seven top-secret documents and 17 secret documents were found in Trump’s office along with a number of confidential documents. There were also top secret, secret and classified documents found in the storage room.
The DOJ reported finding 48 empty folders with classified banners. It was not immediately clear if the contents of these folders were collected by the FBI. The filing also notes 40 other empty folders marked “return to staff secretary/military aide.”
That Trump was still in possession of top-secret documents came out last month in court records. The newly unsealed filing provides more context for where those documents were found and how they were stored. Some of the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago were marked TS/SCI top secret/sensitive compartmented information, which refers to a higher level of security clearance. The FBI also found documents containing information about human intelligence sources.
“An active criminal investigation” into Trump’s handling of the documents is underway, according to the Justice Department’s filing. The search warrant used to search Mar-a-Lago cited three criminal laws including violations of the Espionage Act.
“The seized materials will continue to be used to further the government’s investigation, and the investigative team will continue to use and evaluate the seized materials as it takes further investigative steps, such as through additional witness interviews and grand jury practice,” the government wrote in its filing.
Earlier this week, the government said it has already reviewed all the items seized from Trump’s home, aside from materials pertaining to filter protocols. The government notes it is being mindful of any information that might fall under attorney-client privilege. This is noteworthy as a federal judge is considering a motion to appoint a special master to review materials seized by the FBI. Trump’s attorneys have argued this is necessary to ensure records protected by attorney-client privilege or executive privilege are returned.
The government said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is assisting the DOJ in a review of the seized records as well as conducting an intelligence community assessment to review national security risks from the potential disclosure of these records.