Trump had classified documents in his DESK: Blockbuster DOJ filing reveals government has retrieved 320 files from Mar-a-Lago since January – including 100 in raid found AFTER his lawyers conducted a ‘diligent search’

  • Three classified documents were found in a desk drawer in Donald Trump’s office in Mar-a-Lago during the August raid
  • FBI agents also found more than 100 documents discovered in 13 boxes or containers with classification markings in its August raid on Trump’s home
  • Details revealed in late-night Justice Department filing on the case
  • Filing notes documents were discovered after Trump’s lawyers claimed a ‘diligent search’ produced all the requested documents
  • The government detailed its suspicion that Trump and his team were trying to obstruct their investigation
  • Filing included a photo showing documents marked ‘top secret’ 

Three classified documents were found in a desk drawer in Donald Trump’s office at Mar-a-Lago, the Department of Justice revealed in a blockbuster filing, in addition to more than 100 documents discovered in 13 boxes with classification markings in the former president’s residence.

The documents were discovered in the August raid of Trump’s Florida home, which came after the former president’s lawyers claimed a ‘diligent search’ produced all the requested documents.

‘Three classified documents that were not located in boxes, but rather were located in the desks in the ’45 Office,’ were also seized,’ the filing states. 

The DoJ’s 54-page filing, released late Tuesday night, was the government’s response to Trump’s request for an independent review of materials seized from his Palm Beach home in the August raid by federal agents.

It outlines the numerous steps the government took to retreive the records Trump took with him from the White House, which are the property of the federal government. Presidents are legally required to turn them over to the National Archives when they leave office.

It makes clear the August 8 raid came after numerous other efforts to retrieve the records had failed and that law enforcement suspected that additional documents remained inside the property.

The government also detailed its suspicion that Trump and his team were trying to obstruct their investigation.

‘The government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,’ the filing states.

Three classified documents were found in a desk drawer in Donald Trump’s office in Mar-a-Lago during the August raid, the Justice Department said 

A photo of Trump’s office in Mar-a-Lago was relesed by aide Stephen Miller in April 2021

The above timeline highlights just some of former president Donald Trump’s battles with the National Archives since leaving office, including an unrelated court fight with the January 6 committee

The filing includes an extraordinary photo that shows papers – with many marked ‘top secret’ – on the carpet at Donald Trump’s Florida mansion.

The photo shows the cover pages of a smattering of paperclip-bound classified documents.

Some were marked ‘TOP SECRET//SCI’ with bright yellow borders and one was marked as ‘SECRET//SCI’ with a rust-colored border.

There were also ones with whited-out pages and a cardboard box filled with gold-framed pictures, including a Time magazine cover.

Trump slammed the FBI for releasing the photo and repeated his argument he had declassified all the documents he took with him from the White House.

‘Terrible the way the FBI, during the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see. Thought they wanted them kept Secret? Lucky I Declassified!,’ he wrote on his Truth Social media account on Wednesday.

Trump returned 15 boxes of documents to the Archives in January. Those boxes were discovered to hold classified documents, triggering an investigation. 

That investigation led to a May 11 subpoena, where DoJ lawyers demanded the return of all materials marked as classified.

On June 3, Trump’s team gave FBI officials 38 additional documents with classified markings, including 17 labeled top secret.

One of Trump’s lawyers present at Mar-a-Lago on that date but ‘explicitly prohibited government personnel from opening or looking inside any of the boxes that remained in the storage room, giving no opportunity for the government to confirm that no documents with classification markings remained,’ the filing said. 

And a Trump attorney, who the New York Times identified as Christina Bobb, said claimed all the documents requested via the subpoena had been returned to the government following a ‘diligent search.’ 

‘Based upon the information that has been provided to me, I am authorized to certify, on behalf of the Office of Donald J. Trump, the following: a. A diligent search was conducted of the boxes that were moved from the White House to Florida; b. This search was conducted after receipt of the subpoena, in order to locate any and all documents that are responsive to the subpoena; c. Any and all responsive documents accompany this certification; and d. No copy, written notation, or reproduction of any kind was retained as to any responsive document. I swear or affirm that the above statements,’ the letter, which was included in the filing, states.

The filing also noted that ‘the F.B.I., in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former president’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform.’

A photo of documents seized during the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago was published on Tuesday night by the Justice Department

Letter from Trump attorney included in the Justice Department filing

In total, 320 documents marked classified, some at the most restrictive levels, have been recovered from Trump since he left the White House, per a count by the Associated Press.

Trump has denied any wrong doing. He and his team have argued that Trump had declassified all of the documents at Mar-a-Lago.

The former president requested the appointment of an independent arbiter known as a special master to review the materials seized by the FBI for ones Trump claims are protected by executive privilege. 

DoJ lawyers rejected that argument and said Trump’s lawyers ‘never asserted that the former president had declassified the documents or asserted any claim of executive privilege.’ 

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