Hundreds of documents with 'highest level of classification' hoarded at Mar-a-Lago: report
President Donald J. Trump displays his signature after signing an Executive Order on Strengthening the Child Welfare System for America’s Children Wednesday, June 24, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
Donald Trump’s allies, including his family members, have claimed that he former president took with him some mementos to remember his fours years in the White House, things like his correspondence with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, and other trinkets. He “had every right to take” them, and “every president does,” Lara Trump claimed last week.
Those who have been watching the legal drama unfold over the past two weeks know that the Dept. of Justice, and the National Archives before it, confiscated 35 cartons of White House records, including classified documents.
Monday night, after Trump sued the federal government, demanding a “special master” be appointed to review all the items the FBI took from Mar-a-Lago after executing a search warrant, The New York Times dropped a bombshell.
Federal agents have removed from Trump’s Florida home not just 11 sets of classified documents, but hundreds of classified documents, including one set that “had the highest level of classification, top secret/sensitive compartmented information.”
Documents include ones from CIA, NSA, and FBI.
“In total, the government has recovered more than 300 documents with classified markings from Mr. Trump since he left office, the people said: that first batch of documents returned in January, another set provided by Mr. Trump’s aides to the Justice Department in June and the material seized by the F.B.I. in the search this month,” The Times reports.
“The previously unreported volume of the sensitive material found in the former president’s possession in January helps explain why the Justice Department moved so urgently to hunt down any further classified materials he might have.”
The Times adds that “the extent to which such a large number of highly sensitive documents remained at Mar-a-Lago for months, even as the department sought the return of all material that should have been left in government custody when Mr. Trump left office, suggested to officials that the former president or his aides had been cavalier in handling it, not fully forthcoming with investigators, or both.”
“The specific nature of the sensitive material that Mr. Trump took from the White House remains unclear. But the 15 boxes Mr. Trump turned over to the archives in January, nearly a year after he left office, included documents from the C.I.A., the National Security Agency and the F.B.I. spanning a variety of topics of national security interest, a person briefed on the matter said.”
Disturbingly, The Times also notes that “Mr. Trump went through the boxes himself in late 2021, according to multiple people briefed on his efforts, before turning them over.”
Previous reporting has stated Trump repeatedly told aides he personally owned all the documents taken from the White House.
“’It’s not theirs, it’s mine,’ several advisers say Mr. Trump told them,” The Times reported last week.
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