After Leaving White House, Trump Kept Over 300 Classified Documents

The criminal investigation that led the FBI to raid former President Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago this month was prompted by the intense concern at the Justice Department ignited in January when the National Archives discovered more than 150 documents marked as classified in the initial batch of documents it retrieved.

On top of the January batch, another set provided by Trump’s aides was returned to the Justice Department in June and the FBI additionally seized materials previously this month.

Multiple people briefed on the matter said that since Trump left office, the government has recovered more than 300 documents with classified markings, and the previously unreported, sheer volume of the sensitive material explains triggered the federal criminal investigation and prompted DOJ to move so urgently to hunt down any additional classified materials the former president might have.

According to a person briefed, the January batch of 15 boxes the National Archives retrieved included CIA, FBI, and NSA documents involving national security. Some of the documents of the 11 sets of classified documents that the FBI retrieved earlier this month were related to nuclear weapons and marked top secret.

In an effort to find out how some of the documents were being handled there, the authorities are now seeking surveillance video of Mar-a-Lago leading up to the Aug. 8 raid.

According to the unsealed warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago, the federal authorities are investigating Trump, among other, for possible violations of the Espionage Act. Though the former president insisted the documents obtained by the FBI were declassified, it is possible he did so without following the proper protocols.

Meanwhile, the former president is trying to temporarily block the FBI from reviewing the classified materials that were seized from Mar-a-Lago collected as they executed a search warrant, asking the court to appoint a special master to help them review the evidence.

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