Mar-A-Lago Search Affidavit: Trump Was Insecurely Storing Most Sensitive Intel At Club

by | Aug 26, 2022 | Politics

The sworn affidavit that prosecutors used to persuade a federal judge to let them search Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month says that classified documents would likely be found there as well as “evidence of obstruction,” according to a redacted version released Friday.“There is probable cause to believe that additional documents that contain classified NDI or that are Presidential records subject to record retention requirements currently remain at the PREMISES. There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the PREMISES,” the heavily redacted, 38-page affidavit reads.AdvertisementNDI refers to National Defense Information ― a category of documents considered highly sensitive.The Department of Justice’s proposed redactions, and reasons for those redactions, were also released.The affidavit, filed by an FBI agent from the Washington, D.C., office with training in “counterintelligence and espionage investigations,” says that the agency was brought in to investigate by the National Archives after officials there found that 15 boxes retrieved from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year included highly classified material.“Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered, intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified,” the FBI agent wrote.The FBI did a preliminary review of the material in those boxes and found documents with classification markings in 14 out of the 15, the special agent wrote, describing the documents using a string of acronyms referring to classified material and “FPOTUS” for former President Trump:Advertisement “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. Several of the documents also contained what appears to be FPOTUS’s handwritten notes.” The categories include HSC, which refers to “intelligence information derived from clandestine human sources,” and NOFORN, which means that material is not to be released to any foreign governments or nationals.The agent then quotes from a June 8 letter from the Department of Justice to Trump’s lawyers that said the classified material was not being securely controlled.“They have not been handled in an appropriate manner or stored in an appropriate location. Accordingly, we ask that the room at Mar-a-Lago where the documents had been stored be secured and that all of the boxes that were moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago (along with any other items in that room) be preserved in that room in their current condition until further notice,” the letter read.Much of text of the affidavit is entirely blacked out to protect the names of investigators, witnesses and investigative techniques. The entirety of …

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