The US Department of Justice suspects former President Donald Trump of hiding top-secret documents to hamper the investigation against him. His residence in Florida had been searched by the FBI on August 8. Donald Trump believes that the procedure is “unjustified”.
Top-secret documents seized from the Florida residence of former US President Donald Trump were ‘likely withheld’ to hinder the federal police investigation into him, claims a Justice Department document released overnight Tuesday See you on Wednesday. This procedural document explains in the most detailed way to date the reasons which led the American federal police (FBI) to search in a spectacular way on August 8 the residence of the former Republican president to recover extremely confidential documents that he had not returned after leaving the White House, despite multiple requests.
On Wednesday evening, Donald Trump responded by pinning down an “unjustified” procedure, given the “very nature of the presidential archives”. The investigation seeks in particular to determine whether Donald Trump or his relatives engaged in criminally reprehensible conduct by seeking to prevent the FBI from recovering these documents, details the Department of Justice.
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Prior to the operation, the FBI uncovered “multiple sources of evidence” showing that “classified documents” were still in Donald Trump’s sprawling Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, it says. Police “also had evidence that government documents were likely concealed and taken away…and that acts were likely performed to obstruct their investigation,” the court document continues.
The Department of Justice describes in particular how FBI agents first went to Mar-a-Lago in June to retrieve several files, a member of Trump’s team providing them with “an affidavit” that he they were the last to be in the residence. But during the August search, federal police found about 30 boxes with documents so sensitive, ranging “from confidential to top secret”, that FBI and Justice Department lawyers had to seek “clearances”. additional” before being able to consult them, it is specified.
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Top secret documents thrown on the ground
On the last page of the report, a striking photo shows documents seized by federal police, stamped “Top Secret”, strewn across a floral-patterned carpet. “It’s horrible how the FBI, during the raid at Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly on the ground (perhaps to make it look like I did it! )”, replied Donald Trump on his Truth Social platform on Wednesday, assuring that he had declassified them beforehand.
In a court document released Wednesday evening, his lawyers also criticized an “unprecedented, unnecessary and without legal basis” search as part of a “wrongful search to criminalize the possession in a safe place, by a former president, of presidential and personal archives.” For his lawyers, the investigators should not have been surprised to discover classified documents in the archives from the White House.
The Republican, who flirts with the idea of a candidacy for the presidential election of 2024, has been denouncing for months a political “witch hunt”. The Ministry of Justice, for its part, indicates that it has explained the process which led to the search in order to “correct the incomplete and inaccurate account presented in the declarations” of Donald Trump.
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An attack on national security
The department’s statement responds to the former president’s request last week for an independent expert to review the documents seized from his home by the FBI. A hearing is to be held this Thursday on this subject, and the court document released Wednesday evening by the Trump camp is a new response to the declarations of the Department of Justice.
If Donald Trump’s request for an independent expert were met, it could block investigators’ access to documents, the Justice Department said, adding that it would “seriously harm the interests of the state, including by matters of national security”.
The investigation and search at Mar-a-Lago were triggered by the handing over to the National Archives in January of 15 boxes of documents taken by Donald Trump when he left the Oval Office. Some of these documents included a sign designating information provided by US intelligence “human sources”, informants and other undercover agents. Examination of these boxes convinced the FBI that others still had to be kept by the former president. The billionaire is also the target of investigations into his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and his role in the assault by his supporters on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He is not yet prosecuted. in no business.