‘Grave damage’: Affidavit says Donald Trump had classified documents in 'unauthorized' location

‘Grave damage’: Affidavit says Donald Trump had classified documents in 'unauthorized' location
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.
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A federal judge has released the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 38-page redacted affidavit that was presented to obtain the search warrant federal agents used to enter Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. That so-called “raid” nearly three weeks ago was performed to retrieve large. numbers of White House records, including documents with various levels of classifications all the way up to some of the most top secret classifications.

The affidavit reveals the FBI found apparently large numbers of classified national defense information documents in an “unauthorized” location, presumably on the premises of Mar-a-Lago.

MSNBC’s Joyce Vance on-air says the affidavit reveals Trump took documents that could do “grave damage” to the U.S.

“The FBI’s investigation has established that documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI), were among the materials contained in the FIFTEEN BOXES and were stored at the PREMISES in an unauthorized location,” the redacted affidavit reads (page 2).

The affidavit also states the federal law that the FBI appears to believe Trump or someone in the former president’s orbit violated by having those national defense documents in an unauthorized location.

“Under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e), ‘[w]hoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document … or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted’ or attempts to do or causes the same ‘to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it’ shall be fined or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both,” it reads, in part. (Page 4)

That same federal law cited also refers to “grave damage,” and reads in part: “Where such unauthorized disclosure could reasonably result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security, the information may be classified as ‘Top Secret’ and must be properly safeguarded.”

The affidavit speaks to just how many classified and national defense informs action documents Trump had at Mar-a-Lago.

“From May 16-18, 2022, FBI agents conducted a preliminary review of the FIFTEEN BOXES provided to NARA and identified documents with classification markings in fourteen of the FIFTEEN BOXES.”

“A preliminary triage of the documents with classification markings revealed the following approximate numbers: 184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 documents marked as CONFIDENTIAL, 92 documents marked as SECRET, and 25 documents marked as TOP SECRET. Further, the FBI agents observed markings reflecting the following compartments/dissemination controls: HCS, FISA, ORCON, NOFORN, and SI. Based on my training and experience, I know that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI.”

Former FBI agent Josh Campbell, now a National security and law enforcement reporter at CNN, reveals: “A major point here: The FBI found documents marked ‘HCS,’ which refers to clandestine human sources who risk their lives to provide information to the US government.”

“FISA” is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
“ORCON” refers to a U.S. intelligence code word used to mark information as “originator controlled.”
“NOFORN” means “NO FOReign National access allowed,” or, no non-US citizens are allowed to read.

It also reveals that “Several of the documents also contained what appears to be FPOTUS ‘s handwritten notes,” referring not to President Donald Trump but former President Donald Trump. That may or may not indicate that the handwritten notes date to a time after he left office.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.

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