The FBI seized records detailing a foreign country’s nuclear capabilities when its agents executed a search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence last month, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
The newspaper cites sources as saying the documents were so secret that only the president, certain members of his Cabinet or officials close to the Cabinet would be authorized to allow other government officials to see them.
The Job said the documents contained information about a foreign country’s nuclear defense readiness, but did not specify which one.
The startling implications of these documents – which are classified at some of the highest levels existing in federal law – being held in a private residence where concerns have been raised about the organization and safety of their safekeeping cannot be overstated. . The allegation suggested a reason why US intelligence agencies should conduct an assessment of any national security risks in the wake of the FBI raid.
If accurate, the report also destroys any defense by Mr. Trump and his allies that the documents seized by the FBI were harmless and only for his use in a memoir, presidential library or other project. It’s hard to imagine a valid need for a former president to have such information at his fingertips.
Mr. Trump’s closest defenders have made such arguments for weeks – Senator Marco Rubio, who represents the state in which the raid took place, said this week only that the investigation amounted to a simple records issue. Tuesday’s report from Job would put the Justice Department squarely in the territory of investigating the potential mishandling of classified documents, not to mention the Archives Act violations that Mr. Trump could also be charged with.
The Independent contacted the former president’s office for comment.
Reacting shortly after the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago on August 8, Mr Trump denied there were any nuclear secrets among the papers allegedly found at his home, calling the claims a “hoax”. He also suggested that the FBI hid documents there, although he has since acknowledged they were there, later claiming he personally “declassified” them.
In the weeks following the FBI raid, Mr. Trump repeatedly lambasted the Biden administration, and in particular the federal law enforcement apparatus, for its latest legal predicament. At a recent rally in Pennsylvania alongside his chosen candidates in key state races, the former president denounced what he called “vicious” actions by the DoJ.
Adding to his anger at the agencies is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s recent revelation that his company and Twitter voluntarily censored information on their platforms about a laptop formerly owned by Hunter Biden during the 2020 election. Conservatives have long claimed that the computer contained incriminating information (although Mr. Biden is not charged with any crime by law enforcement) and Mr. Trump himself has recently espoused the belief that the history’s inability to Reaching more voters cost him votes in the 2020 election.
The former president also harbors hatred from the DoJ and FBI for their investigation into his 2016 presidential campaign and the unprecedented efforts by Russian agents to damage the reputation and candidacy of his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
He, however, offered no coherent explanation as to why classified documents were located at his private residence and resort in Florida, preferring instead to level baseless accusations in the same vein against his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Mr Trump also, along with his allies including Marjorie Taylor Greene, launched scathing criticism after criticism of the FBI that the agency and the Department of Homeland Security warned last month was leading to increased threats of violence against federal agents and property. An FBI office in Ohio was even attacked, resulting in the death of the attacker in a shootout with law enforcement.
The political implications of indicting a former president, particularly a candidate seen as one of his party’s leading contenders in the next presidential cycle, are now front and center for political analysts in the Washington media as well as as Justice Department prosecutors, who abide by an unwritten rule not to take politically sensitive actions during election seasons.
A potential reaction to such an act by the Justice Department was spelled out by GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who recently predicted “riots” in the streets if Donald Trump is criminally charged. His words were branded a veiled threat by his left-leaning haters, while Mr Graham defended them as an honest depiction of the reality of the situation.
Documents seized by FBI agents will now be in the hands of a court-appointed special handler, unless the Justice Department appeals a ruling by Judge Aileen Cannon allowing the still-unnamed official to review them to obtain privileged information or files. DoJ officials said they were weighing their options.
Trump had top-secret papers on foreign country’s nuclear defenses, report says