FBI agents who conducted the search recovered 20 boxes of classified documents in their Monday search, including handwritten notes, binders full of photos, and the executive grant of clemency given to Trump ally Roger Stone, according to a review of the inventory by the Wall Street Journal.
The revelation comes just hours after it was reported that investigators discovered “boxes everywhere” in at least two areas of Trump’s home, including his personal office and a storage room near the pool.
At least one set of the documents was marked as “classified/TS/SCI” documents, meaning “top secret/sensitive compartmentalized information,” according to the outlet. Additionally, agents recovered four sets of top-secret documents, three sets marked as secret, and three other sets marked as confidential.
The inventory report did not give further details on what information the documents contained.
However, a three-page list detailing the documents that were retrieved showed FBI agents recovered information about “the President of France.” The list is part of a larger report that includes the search warrant executed by the FBI to raid Trump’s home.
The details of the search warrant itself have not been publicly disclosed, making it unclear what kind of information agents thought was taken from the White House and being held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. However, the unprecedented search has prompted experts to believe there were deep concerns that the sensitive information could fall into the wrong hands, according to NewsNation.
Trump’s lawyers have argued the former president used his authority to declassify the information he took with him when he left office. Although a president has the power to do so, it’s not clear if Trump went through the federal process to declassify the documents taken from his Mar-a-Lago home.
Some of the documents that were recovered may have been related to classified nuclear weapons documents, sources told the Washington Post Thursday night.
Information on nuclear weapons materials is highly sensitive and is only given to top government officials, according to experts. If the FBI thought that information was located inside the Mar-a-Lago home, that could explain why agents acted with urgency to execute a warrant.
“If that is true, it would suggest that material residing unlawfully at Mar-a-Lago may have been classified at the highest classification level,” said David Laufman, former chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section. “If the FBI and the Department of Justice believed there were top-secret materials still at Mar-a-Lago, that would lend itself to greater ‘hair-on-fire’ motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible.”
Trump denied the nuclear report, calling the assumption a “hoax.”
“Nuclear weapons issue is a Hoax, just like Russia, Russia, Russia was a Hoax,” Trump said in a post on his social media platform Truth Social. “Two Impeachments were a Hoax, the Mueller investigation was a Hoax, and much more. Same sleazy people involved.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the raid for the first time on Thursday, declining to disclose details of the search but confirming he had personally authorized it.
Just moments before Garland addressed the nation, the Department of Justice filed a motion to unseal the search warrant, with the motion arguing there is a “clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances.”
“That said, the former President should have an opportunity to respond to this Motion and lodge objections, including with regards to any ‘legitimate privacy interests’ or the potential for other ‘injury’ if these materials are made public,” the filing stated.
Trump said he would not oppose the release of documents that were the subject of the FBI’s raid, calling the search an “unprecedented political weaponization of law enforcement” in a statement on Thursday.