Photo released of top secret documents uncovered in FBI search of Trump’s home

US

A photo showing top secret documents uncovered during an FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida home has been released.

It comes as the US Justice Department claims it has uncovered efforts to obstruct its investigation into the discovery of classified documents at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

The image, released in a court filing, showed cover pages of several paper-clip bound classified documents, some of which are marked as “top secret//sci” with bright yellow borders, spread out on the floor

One can be seen labelled as “secret//sci” with a rust-coloured border, along with pages that have been blanked out.

Beside them was a cardboard box filled with gold-framed pictures, including a Time Magazine cover which features Mr Trump alongside a number of other world leaders.

The filing by the department states that “government records were likely concealed or removed” from a storage room even after Mr Trump’s representatives had told officials they had thoroughly searched the property.

The FBI carried out a raid on the estate on 8 August as part of an investigation into whether Mr Trump took classified records from the White House.

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This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and redacted by in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The Justice Department says it has uncovered efforts to obstruct its investigation into the discovery of classified records at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate. (Department of Justice via AP)
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A photo showed top secret documents uncovered during an FBI search of Donald Trump’s home

Officers seized 33 boxes containing more than 100 classified records during the search and found three confidential documents stashed in office drawers, the latest filing also revealed.

Investigators conducting the criminal probe have focused not just on why the records were stored at the estate, but also on whether the Trump team intentionally misled them about the unlawful presence of government secrets.

FILE - An aerial view of President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen near dusk on Aug. 10, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. newly unsealed FBI document about the investigation at Mar-a-Lago not only offers new details about the probe but also reveals clues about the arguments his legal team intends to make. The May 25 letter from one of his lawyers attached as an exhibit to the affidavit advances a broad view of executive power, asserting that the commander-in-chief has absolute authority to declassify whatever he wants and that the primary law governing the handling of classified information applies to other government officials but not the president. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
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The Mar-a-Lago estate

Search of storage room

The document sheds new details on the events of this past May and June, when FBI and justice department officials issued a subpoena for the missing records and then visited a storage room at the property.

During that June visit, the filing states Mr Trump’s lawyers told investigators all the records that had come from the White House were kept in the storage room.

Read more:
Blacked-out affidavit shows president had taken ‘top secret’ documents home
How FBI raid may have helped Trump as he considers second White House bid

They also said “there were no other records stored in any private office space or other location on the premises and that all available boxes were searched”.

However, the justice department then said it had “developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the storage room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct” the investigation.

Read more:

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
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Pages from a Department of Justice latest court filing

Request for special master

Mr Trump’s legal team have asked for a special master to review the files, with a US district judge set to hear arguments on the matter soon.

Lawyers have asked for the appointment to be made so there is someone responsible for looking over the documents and setting aside those protected by claims of legal privilege.

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The judge has said it is her “preliminary intent” to appoint such a person, but also gave the Department of Justice an opportunity to respond.

On Monday, the department said it had already reviewed the files and only identified a “limited set of materials that potentially contain” privileged information.

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