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FBI Claims Donald Trump Mixed Classified Documents With Newspapers and Magazines

The documents reportedly show how Trump’s failure to return top secret documents spells legal trouble for him.

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According to an FBI affidavit released on Friday, 26 August, 14 of the 15 boxes recovered from former United States President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida contained classified documents.

Several of the documents were top secret and mixed in with newspapers, magazines, and personal correspondence, AP reported.

The report, citing court papers, added that no space at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate was authorised to store classified material.

The court papers laid out the FBI’s reasoning for searching the property in August and said that there is “ probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found.”

The 32-page FBI affidavit was heavily redacted to protect the witnesses and law enforcement officials involved as well as “the integrity of the ongoing investigation.” However, it provided a detailed description of the government records stored at Mar-a-Lago after Trump moved out of the White House.

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AP reported that the documents show how Trump’s retention of and failure to return top secret government documents, despite months of recovery efforts by officials, exposes the former president to new legal trouble.

An FBI agent, on the first page of the affidavit, sought a judge’s permission for a warrant to search Trump’s property and wrote:

“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorised spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.”

Meanwhile, Trump insisted that he fully cooperated with government officials and further rallied members of the Grand Old Party behind him, calling the search a politically motivated witch hunt intended to damage his re-election prospects.

Trump Sues US Government Over Florida Raid

On Monday, 22 August, Trump sued the US government over the raid conducted by the FBI at his Florida estate in the same month.

In his lawsuit, Trump urged the court to prevent the bureau from reading the seized documents until a special court official was assigned to review them.

The lawsuit also mentioned that "President Donald J Trump is the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary and in the 2024 General Election, should he decide to run."

It also said that law enforcement was a "shield" that protects Americans and cannot be used as a "weapon" for political purposes.

(With inputs from AP.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  FBI   donald trump 

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