The federal police of the United States (FBI) seized “top secret” files during the raid on the home of former President Donald Trump in Florida, according to court documents released on Friday.
Investigators suspect that the former president, by being illegally in possession of classified documents, violated a US espionage law.
Several court documents were released Friday by a Florida judge: the warrant authorizing the search and a long inventory of documents seized Monday by FBI agents.
Some were marked “top secret” and were to be “available only at special government facilities,” the seven-page federal court order states.
The court document contains a list of items seized from Mar-a-Lago, including information about the “president of France.”
The Justice Department asked a Florida judge to unseal the search warrant on Friday over objections from Trump, who is considering running for the White House again in 2024.
The former president said he would not block the spread of the order, while complaining that he had been the victim of an “unprecedented” political operation that he attributed to “radical left-wing Democrats.”
Trump and his attorneys had a copy of the search warrant and the receipt listing what was seized by FBI agents.
The Wall Street Journal reported that in the 20 boxes of documentation that the FBI agents took, there were folders with photos, a handwritten note and the pardon given by Trump to Roger Stone, an ally of his.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that some of the documents sought may be related to the US nuclear arsenal. But early on Friday, Trump denounced on his Truth Social network that the FBI may have been “planting information” at his residence.
“The issue of nuclear weapons is a hoax,” he commented.
The very unusual willingness of the Justice Department to make the search warrant public, announced Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland, was welcomed by the former president.
“Not only will I not oppose the disclosure of the documents related to the raid (…) but I will go a step further by ENCOURAGED the immediate publication of those documents,” the tycoon wrote in Truth Social, who however refrained to make public the copy of the court order you received.
Republican leaders unanimously came out in defense of Trump, with some party members accusing the Justice Department and the FBI of operating politically to attack the former president.
– ‘Unfounded attacks’ –
In what appeared to be a direct response to the FBI action at Mar-a-Lago, a gunman attempted to storm an FBI office in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday.
The assailant, who was shot dead by police after an hour-long standoff, reportedly posted on Trump’s platform that he hoped his actions would serve as a “call to arms.”
Garland denounced, during his brief televised intervention, “unfounded attacks” by the Republicans against his portfolio and against the FBI, while the director of the federal police, Christopher Wray, appointed by Trump, spoke of acts of “violence and threats against the law enforcement.”
The Justice Department does not normally confirm or deny whether it is investigating someone, and Garland took pains to emphasize that the law was being applied fairly to Trump.
In a statement, the Republican tycoon said Thursday that his lawyers had been “fully cooperating” with justice and that “the government could have gotten whatever it wanted” from him if “it had been” in his power.
Trump also faces judicial investigations into his initiatives to disregard the outcome of the 2020 elections, including his role in the deadly attack on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 by his supporters.