Among the property in the Aug. 8 raid of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, the FBI listed 48 folders labeled “CLASSIFIED” and 42 folders labeled “return to staff secretary/military aide” that were empty.
A detailed receipt of the materials recovered from the former president’s Palm Beach golf club was unsealed Friday. Among the 33 boxes seized in the raid was a jumble of classified material, emptied folders, press clippings, magazines, clothing, and books.
Since January, the National Archives and federal government have been attempting to recover sensitive documents Trump took to Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House. The DOJ has now recovered hundreds of classified documents from the former president’s home, including dozens containing “top secret” classification markings or relating to sensitive human intelligence operations.
While it’s unclear what kind of information the classified materials actually contain (it’s classified, after all), what is clear is that investigators believe the retention of the documents and the lax security at Mar-a-Lago may have resulted in a violation of the Espionage Act and potentially constitute a national security risk.
Trump has responded to the investigation with a mix of anger and attempted deflection. After the DOJ released an image of some of the materials recovered at his residence, the former president complained that the FBI had “haphazardly” strewn documents on his floors while (despite some of the claims of his supporters) admitting the documents were in Mar-a-Lago.
The former president’s lawyers moved to block the DOJ from reviewing the documents recovered from his home, calling for the court to appoint a “special master” to review the material and identify conflicts of privilege. The call, which came weeks after the raid, was not made in time to prevent the DOJ from reviewing the documents. During a Thursday hearing on the matter, Judge Aileen Cannon declined to immediately rule on the matter, and is expected to hand down a written decision.