FBI Found Empty Folders Marked Classified In Trump's Mar-a-Lago Residence
Officials found 48 empty folders marked as containing classified information and more than a dozen “top secret” documents in the search of Donald Trump’s Florida residence, a court filing detailing what the FBI retrieved shows, belying the claim of the defeated ex-president that all the documents have been recovered, the New York Times reported.
Photo Insert: Democrats have said the documents reveal fundamental lawlessness in Trump’s behavior.
Reporting for The Guardian, Hugo Lowell reported on the same day that FBI retrieved from Trump’s office and storage room 90 empty folders marked classified or for return to the White House staff secretary or a military aide, a detailed inventory of items made public on Friday showed.
The inventory – unsealed by a federal judge overseeing Trump’s request to get a so-called special master to determine what materials the justice department can use in its investigation – provided the fullest picture of what Trump had retained.
The inventory showed the FBI retrieved 71 empty folders from Trump’s office and 19 empty folders from a storage room when agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.
David Badash of the New Civil Rights Movement reported for Raw Story on Sept. 3 that the inventory had more than 13,000 items, including over 100 documents marked with various classification headers.
Many of the documents were marked HSCI, meaning human intelligence sources, NOFORN, or not to be shared with foreigners, and top secret.
Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor of 30 years, tweeted out his surprise and concern. "OMG!" exclaimed Kirschner, who is also an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst.
"Court just released an inventory of evidence of crime seized at Mar-a-Lago." Andrew Weissmann, a former General Counsel of the FBI, observed: "It’s the empty classified folders that are of most concern. Where are the contents? Trump has not addressed that at all in all his bluster and obfuscation. What were you doing with these?"
Democrats have said the documents reveal fundamental lawlessness in Trump’s behavior, characterized by acting with impunity and a disregard for the US norms and traditions that usually govern former presidents. At the same time the scandal has probably harmed Trump’s frequent hints that he wants to run for the White House again in 2024.
Joe Biden has used the FBI search as part of a general warning of the extremist nature of Trump and his followers which in a primetime speech on Thursday night he portrayed as a growing threat to American democracy and a potential cause of political violence.