DAccording to a media report, the secret documents that former US President Donald Trump took with him after the end of his term in office are to be evaluated by the US secret services. The magazine “Politico” reported on Saturday, citing a letter from secret service coordinator Avril Haines to high-ranking employees. This is intended to clarify whether there were any national security risks arising from the storage in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion in Florida.
“The Department of Justice and the Office of the US Intelligence Coordinator are working together to facilitate a classification review of relevant materials, including those found in the search,” Haines wrote, according to the magazine. According to the report, the secret services could also check whether unauthorized persons had access to the documents. This could be of criminal relevance. Haines is an intelligence coordinator in the government of Trump’s successor, Joe Biden.
Trump calls for ‘special master’ to monitor investigation
Former US President Donald Trump filed a supplementary motion in court late Friday evening. In it, he asks the court to prevent the government from examining the documents seized in Mar-a-Lago until a third party, a so-called “Special Master”, can be appointed. This is to independently monitor the examination of the documents. Trump had already made a similar request on Monday, but the responsible district judge had asked for more information.
Trump’s attorneys have now said their motion should be granted because the statement released on which the August 8 search of Trump’s Florida home was based had been over-redacted. It contains “almost no information that would allow (Trump) to understand why the raid took place or what was taken from his home.” The few lines that are not redacted raise more questions than answers.
Trump complains about redactions in the document
Earlier, Trump had asked the judge who authorized the search of his Florida home to resign. “Judge Bruce Reinhart should never have allowed my home to be broken into,” Trump wrote on social media. Trump did not give a reason for the judge’s resignation. So far, his lawyers have not made such a request.
Trump also complained that the document released on Friday at the direction of Judge Reinhart, on which the search warrant for Trump’s home was based, had been heavily redacted. The US Department of Justice initially opposed publication of the document, but had to follow Judge Reinhart’s instruction to publish a redacted version. The redactions are intended to protect witnesses and ongoing investigations.
The 32-page document includes an affidavit by an unnamed FBI official, who said the agency reviewed and identified 184 “classification-marked” documents containing “national defense information” after Trump removed 15 boxes in January returned with government documents. They had been requested from the US National Archives. Other papers in those boxes bore handwritten notes by Trump, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit also said the FBI, after reviewing this material, had reason to believe there were other documents at Mar-a-Lago. The document also revealed that a “substantial number of civilian witnesses” who were aware of Trump’s actions after leaving office supported the investigation.
The US Department of Justice announced on Friday that it was investigating former President Donald Trump over the removal of documents from the White House. The department believes Trump was illegally in possession of documents, some of which pertain to the collection of intelligence information and “secret human sources.” Such information is among the most closely guarded secrets in the United States.
During a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, FBI officers had seized 11 containers of classified records, including some classified as “top secret.”