Classified US Records Retrieved by FBI at Trump's Florida Home

by Wall Street Rebel - Michael London | 08/09/2022 8:54 AM
Classified US Records  Retrieved by FBI at Trump's Florida Home

On Monday, the FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida, in connection with an investigation into whether or not the former president turned over White House documents as required by law.


On Monday, former President Donald J. Trump said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had searched his house in Palm Beach, Florida, and had broken into a safe. This claim indicates a significant increase in the number of investigations into the closing phases of his administration.

Multiple individuals familiar with the inquiry have said that the search seemed to be focused on information that Mr. Trump had carried with him to Mar-a-Lago, both his private club and house, when he departed the White House. An individual aware of the contents of those boxes said they included a significant number of pages of confidential papers.

Mr. Trump failed to comply with the National Archives' request to return 15 boxes of documents for a significant amount of time, and the only reason he did so was that there was a potential for legal action to be taken against him. At the beginning of this year, the archives forwarded the matter to the Justice Department for further investigation.

The search represented the most recent stunning turn in the investigations into Mr. Trump's behavior before, during, and after his administration — and even as he mulls around declaring another race for the White House, the probes have been going on for a very long time.

It came at a time when the Justice Department ramped up a separate investigation into Mr. Trump's efforts to remain in office after his defeat at the polls in the 2020 election. It also came at a time when the former president was facing an escalating criminal investigation in Georgia and civil actions in New York.

Mr. Trump has for a long time characterized the F.B.I. as a tool of Democrats who have been out to get him, and the search sparked off an angry response among his fans inside the Republican Party and on the extreme right of American politics. If Republicans are victorious in the midterm elections and take control of the House of Representatives, the Republican leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, has indicated that he intends to launch an investigation against Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

In order to get a search warrant, the F.B.I. would have needed to persuade a court that it had reasonable cause that a crime had been committed and that agents may uncover evidence at Mar-a-Lago. In order to proceed with a search of the house of a former president, it would very certainly have been necessary to get approval from senior authorities at both the FBI and the Justice Department.

However, this does not indicate that the prosecutors have concluded that Mr. Trump committed a crime as a result of the search.

A spokesman from the FBI and officials from the Justice Department both refused to comment on the matter. Mr. Trump is responsible for Christopher A. Wray's appointment to the FBI director position.

During the time when the search was taking place, Mr. Trump was in the New York region. "Another day in paradise," he remarked Monday night at a telephone rally for Sarah Palin, who is running for a congressional seat in Alaska. Palin is seeking to represent Alaska in the United States Congress.

Eric Trump, one of his sons, told Fox News that he was the one who informed his father that the search was taking place, and he said that the search warrant was related to presidential documents. Eric Trump also said that he was the one who told his father that the search warrant was related to presidential documents.

In 2016, Mr. Trump ran against Hillary Clinton. During his campaign for president in 2016, Mr. Trump criticized Hillary Clinton's practice of maintaining a private email server for government-related messages while she was secretary of state. Throughout his term as president, Mr. Trump was known to rip up official material that was intended to be kept for presidential archives. According to one individual acquainted with his routines and behaviors, it included sensitive information that was shredded in his bedroom in addition to other locations.

According to a source acquainted with the situation, the search was conducted at least partly to determine whether or not any documents remained at the club. According to the individual, it happened on Monday morning, but Mr. Trump claimed that agents were still there several hours later.

Mr. Trump stated that the unannounced raid on his home was neither necessary nor appropriate. He maintained that it was an attempt to prevent him from running for president in 2024. "After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate," he said. An attack of this kind could only take place in underdeveloped countries of the third world.

"They even broke into my safe!" he said in the note he found afterward.

Mr. Trump did not provide any further information on the F.B.I. agents' statements of what they were looking for.

Aides to Vice President Biden have expressed astonishment at the recent development they found out about on Twitter.

The search occurred at the same time that the Justice Department was ratcheting up its interrogation of former Trump advisers who had been witnesses to talks and planning in the White House about Mr. Trump's attempts to change the results of the election that he had lost.

The investigation into the assault on the Capitol on January 6 that the House committee was conducting continues, and this week it is questioning witnesses. In connection with a plot to send "fake" electors to Congress for the certification of the Electoral College, Mr. Trump has been the target of inquiries questioned by federal prosecutors. These questions have been directed against Mr. Trump specifically.

The Presidential Records Act, which is the legislation that governs the preservation of White House records, is toothless; nonetheless, criminal laws may be applicable, particularly in the event that the item in question is classified.

Anyone who "willfully injures or commits any depredation against any property of the United States" or anyone who "willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys" government documents are subject to prosecution under criminal codes, the violation of which can result in incarceration for the offender.

Samuel R. Berger, who served as a national security advisor to former President Bill Clinton, entered a guilty plea in 2015 to a charge of taking classified data from a government archive and entered the plea as a condition of his probation. Donald Keyser, an expert on Asia and a former senior official in the State Department, was found guilty in 2007 and sentenced to prison after confessing that he had hidden more than 3,000 sensitive documents in his basement. These documents ranged in level of sensitivity from classified to top secret.

After concluding that he had inappropriately handled national secrets on a desktop computer located in his house, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) announced in 1999 that it had suspended the security clearance of its former director, John M. Deutch.

When Mr. Trump left the White House residence after his tenure, he brought 15 boxes of belongings with him to Mar-a-Lago. The archives were able to acquire these boxes in January of this year. Information in the boxes was subject to the Presidential Records Act, which mandates that the archives receive all records and papers relevant to the official activity. This act demands that all such records and documents be handed over.

Documents, keepsakes, presents, and letters were some of the things that were included inside the boxes. Other than stating that it was "secret national security information," the archives did not describe the sensitive material it discovered.

David S. Ferriero, the national archivist at the time, reported to Congress that the National Archives "recognized classified material in the boxes," and as a result, the agency "has been in discussion with the Department of Justice."

According to two persons who have been informed of the case, the following events led to the initiation of an inquiry by a federal grand jury. According to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing, prosecutors issued a subpoena earlier this year to the archives in order to obtain the boxes of classified documents. The subpoena was issued in order to obtain the documents.

According to one of the persons, the authorities also issued interview requests to those who worked in the White House during the closing days of Mr. Trump's administration.

According to one individual who was there at the meeting and was aware of the details, a select group of federal agents traveled to Mar-a-Lago in the spring to obtain certain papers. According to the information provided by the source, at least one of the agents was active in counterintelligence.

Throughout Mr. Trump's stay in the White House and beyond, the issue of how he has handled sensitive data and documents he received in his capacity as president has been a lingering shadow.

It was well known that he would tear up bits of official paper that he was given, requiring authorities to scotch tape the pieces back together. A writer for The New York Times is in the process of writing a book, and in it, he admits that staff members would sometimes discover clumps of ripped paper clogging a toilet, and they would assume that he had put them in there.

The topic of how Mr. Trump dealt with secret information is difficult to answer since, as president, he had the power to declassify any and all government records. It is unknown whether or not Mr. Trump had declassified any of the papers found in the boxes at the archives before he left office. After leaving office, he is no longer authorized by federal law to declassify any previously classified papers.

During his term in office, he made use of his authority to declassify information on several occasions, and as a result, his administration made public documents that aided him politically. This was especially true with regard to matters such as the inquiry into his campaign's links to Russia.

It is unknown whether or not Mr. Trump brought any of the pictures he tore out of the President's Daily Brief with him to the White House when he left office. The President's Daily Brief is a compilation of often classified information about potential threats to national security. Mr. Trump tore out pictures that interested him toward the end of his time in office. In one prominent example of how he dealt with classified material, Mr. Trump 2019 took a highly classified spy satellite image of an Iranian missile launch site, declassified it, and then released the photo on Twitter.

Earlier this year, Kash Patel, a former Defense Department senior official and Trump loyalist whom Mr. Trump named as one of his representatives to engage with the National Archives, suggested to the right-wing website Breitbart that Mr. Trump had declassified the documents before leaving the White House and that the proper markings simply had not been adjusted.

"Trump declassified whole sets of materials in anticipation of leaving government that he thought the American public should have the right to read themselves," he said, according to Breitbart.

Local television crews showed supporters of Mr. Trump gathering near Mar-a-Lago, some of them being aggressive toward reporters.

Mr. Trump made clear in his statement that he sees potential political value in the search, something some of his advisers echoed, depending on what any investigation produces.

His political team began sending fund-raising solicitations about the search late on Monday evening.


                       FBI searches Trump's Mar-a-Largo estate for classified records, source tells CBS




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