< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">During the search, officers found about 30 boxes with documents so sensitive that FBI and Justice Department lawyers had to seek additional clearances before they could consult them.
Top-secret documents seized from former US President Donald Trump's Florida residence were 'likely withheld' to hinder federal police investigation into him, says Justice Department document released overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday.
This procedural document explains in the most detailed manner to date the reasons which led the American federal police (FBI) to carry out a search spectacular on August 8 the residence of the former president to recover extremely confidential documents that he had not returned after leaving the White House, despite multiple requests.
The investigation aims 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.
Prior to the operation, the FBI uncovered multiple sources of evidence showing that classified documents were still located at Mr. Trump's sprawling residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, it says.
Police also had evidence that government documents were likely hidden and taken away…and that acts were likely taken to obstruct their investigation, the court document continues.
The Mar-a-Lago private club, in Florida, where ex-President Trump resides.
During the search, officers found about 30 boxes with documents so sensitive, ranging from confidential to top-secret, that FBI and Justice Department attorneys had to seek additional clearances before they could see them. it says.
On the last page of this report is a striking photo that shows documents seized by federal police, stamped Top Secret, strewn across a carpet with a floral pattern.
It's horrible how the FBI, during the Mar-a-Lago raid, threw documents haphazardly on the ground (perhaps to make it look like that it was me who did it!), replied Donald Trump on his Truth Social platform on Wednesday, claiming to have declassified them beforehand.
The Republican, who flirts with the idea of a candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, has for months denounced a witch hunt led against him by the administration of his successor, and considers that justice should never have authorized this break-in at his home.
The Department of Justice indicates for its part that it explained the process which led to the search in order to to correct the incomplete and inaccurate narrative presented in Mr. Trump's statements.
The FBI raid on the Mar-a-Lago estate continues to make waves in the United States.
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.
But appointing this third party could block investigators' access to the documents, and justice should not do so because these documents [seized] do not belong to Mr. Trump, underlines the Department of Justice.< /p>
Such a measure is not necessary and would seriously harm the interests of the state, including in terms of national security, it is written.
The investigation and search at Mar-a-Lago were triggered by the handing over in January to the National Archives Agency, responsible for recording presidential activities for history, of 15 boxes of documents taken away by Donald Trump on his departure from the Oval Office.
Some of these documents included the sign HCS, which in the language of the American intelligence services designates information provided by human sources, informants and other undercover agents. Examination of these boxes convinced the FBI that others should still be kept by the former president.
Investigators thus suspect Donald Trump of x27;having violated an American law on espionage which very strictly regulates the possession of confidential documents.
The billionaire is also targeted by investigations into his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and his role in his supporters' assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
He is not for the #x27;instant sued in no case.