Friday, August 12 Update: The judge has unsealed the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago and the property receipt that shows what the FBI took from the estate during the search. See the full documents here.
Investigators discovered classified documents in two areas: Trump’s personal office above a ballroom and in a storage room near the pool. Sources say there were “boxes everywhere,” with some containing Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI). Those are considered some of the highest level of classified documents.
Since the documents are so secretive, it’s unknown if investigators will ever publicly acknowledge what they’re in reference to, let alone release them.
Classified nuclear weapons documents may have been among the items the FBI found, according to a source cited by the Washington Post.
Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke publicly for the first time Thursday about the FBI search of Trump’s home and although he did not reveal what the FBI was looking for, he did say he approved the search.
Garland said he would be asking a court to unseal the search warrant. Trump said Thursday night he doesn’t oppose its release and encouraged it to be unsealed immediately.
The judge has set a deadline of 3 p.m. Friday for Trump’s legal team to decide if they are going to object to the release of the warrant.
Questions have been circulating about exactly what it was the FBI was looking for and why they would engage in the unprecedented search of a former president’s home. According to the Washington Post, it may have been because federal authorities worried sensitive nuclear documents possibly in Trump’s possession could fall into the wrong hands.
The New York Times then reported Thursday night that the search was focused around material relating to “some of the most highly classified programs run by the United States,” according to an anonymous source cited by that publication.
The Washington Post’s source, which was anonymous, did not say whether or not any nuclear weapons documents were found in the home.
Sources confirmed to NewsNation the execution of the search warrant is linked to an investigation into whether or not the former president mishandled presidential records related to the discovery of boxes full of White House records that were taken to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left office.
Trump lawyer Christina Bobb said on NewsNation’s “On Balance: With Leland Vittert” on Thursday they were surprised by the FBI raid on Trump’s home, having believed to that point they had cooperated amply with federal investigators.
Bobb said Trump handed over everything investigators had asked for prior to the search. Federal authorities indicated otherwise with the search.
Neither the Department of Justice or Trump’s legal team have made the search warrant or search receipt public yet.
Bobb said the Trump legal team would be open to making the documents public, but needed to confer with the Justice Department first.
“We’re waiting to hear back from them,” Bobb told NewsNation. “We’re very eager. We know that people want information, and we’re eager to respond as best as possible in coordination with the Department of Justice so we’re just waiting to hear back from them.”
Trump called the search of his estate a “surprise attack” and alleged it was a “targeted raid.”
“In early June, the DOJ and FBI asked my legal representatives to put an extra lock on the door leading to the place where boxes were stored in Mar-a-Lago — We agreed. They were shown the secured area, and the boxes themselves. Then on Monday, without notification or warning, an army of agents broke into Mar-a-Lago, went to the same storage area, and ripped open the lock that they had asked to be installed. A surprise attack,” Trump said on the social media platform Truth Social.