Sources familiar the FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estateAgents were investigating whether the former president had improperly seized documents pertaining to nuclear weapons earlier in the week.
Much of the materials believed to have been at the Palm Beach, Florida, estate — documents that were relocated from the White House by Trump during his last days in office — were labeled with the designation “special access,” according to sources with knowledge of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) rationale for the search. This designation signifies that the document is only intended to be accessible by those with the highest security clearances.
Authorities were reportedly worried that the information being stored at Mar-a-Lago could “potentially…[fall] into the wrong hands,” per reporting from The Washington Post. Trump is well-known for his property. a high degree of security-related vulnerabilities.
The PostWe also cited sources who knew of the search, claiming that the FBI believed Trump still had the documents at Mar-a-Lago (beyond). an initial retrieval of “top secret” documents at the start of the yearAnd A subpoena enabled retrieval to take place in June) included classified documents pertaining to nuclear weapons.
These anonymous sources did not reveal the identity of the investigators to them. Post The documents that are believed to be at Trump’s estate could have been related to weaponry in the U.S. and foreign nations. The sources also wouldn’t comment on whether any of the 12 boxes the FBI retrieved on Monday included documents relating to nuclear weaponry.
Still, the revelation is startling — if Trump indeed removed materials that dealt with nuclear weapons, it would be a significant breach of national security secrets, and could explain in large part why the FBI acted swiftly (and without notification to Trump himself) to retrieve the documents.
“If the FBI and the Department of Justice believed there were top secret materials still at Mar-a-Lago, that would lend itself to greater ‘hair-on-fire’ motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible,” David Laufman, a former chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section, said to the Post.
Senator Chris Murphy (D.Connecticut), called for transparency, and sober minds.
“We need more facts. We need to see the warrant,” said Murphy. “We can’t be sure what’s going on. But for now every single Republican who rushed to Trump’s defense with all sorts of real and fake outrage needs to stand down.”
Reports on what the FBI and DOJ were searching for came hours after Attorney General Merrick Garland The department announced that it would demand that the search warrant be made public in order to allow all Americans to know what prompted the search of the property.
“More information [about the search] will be made available in the appropriate way and at the appropriate time,” Garland said on Thursday.