The US government has recovered over 300 documents marked as classified from former President Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago, including material from the CIA, the National Security Agency and the FBI.
In January, National Archives retrieved over 150 classified materials, which triggered the criminal investigation that led FBI agents to raid Mar-a-Lago this month seeking to recover more, The New York Times reported.
The first batch of documents returned in January, another set provided by Trump’s aides to the Justice Department in June and the material seized by the F.B.I. in the search this month, people familiar with the matter said.
The previously unreported volume of the sensitive material found in the former president’s possession in January helps explain why the Justice Department moved so urgently to hunt down any further classified materials he might have.
The Justice Department investigation is continuing, suggesting that officials are not certain whether they have recovered all the presidential records that Trump took with him from the White House.
Even after the FBI initiated to execute a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, investigators have sought additional surveillance footage from the club, New York Times reported citing people familiar with the matter said
It was the second such demand for the club’s security tapes, said the people familiar with the matter, and underscored that authorities are still scrutinizing how the classified documents were handled by Trump and his staff before the search.
Meanwhile, Trump requested a Special Master be appointed to review the evidence taken by the FBI during a raid and a more detailed receipt of seized property was provided, Sputnik reported citing the court filings.
Trump filed a motion in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Monday seeking an order that appoints a special master and requires federal authorities to provide a more detailed receipt of seized property.
The motion also requested an order requiring the return of any item seized that was not within the scope of the government’s search warrant and as per the court filings, the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago are “presumptively privileged” as presidential materials and must be evaluated by a neutral Special Master reviewer.
“Only an evaluation by a neutral reviewer, a Special Master, can secure the sanctity of these privileged materials,” the filings said.
The government initially informed Trump’s lawyers that it planned on using a “filter team” to review the seized materials, however, Trump’s team argued in the filings that their protocols do not ensure that prosecution team members will not become aware of privileged materials.
FBI raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home which is a mansion with approximately 58 bedrooms, and 33 bathrooms, on a 17-acre estate in Palm Beach, Florida on August 8.