FBI finds empty folders marked with classified banners during raid of Trump's Florida home

2 September 2022, 17:37 | Updated: 2 September 2022, 17:39

Empty folders marked 'classified' were found in the Florida home of Donald Trump
Empty folders marked 'classified' were found in the Florida home of Donald Trump. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Empty folders marked with classified banners have been found by FBI agents at Donald Trump's Florida home.

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The more detailed inventory of the seized material made public by the Justice Department reveals, in general terms, the contents of 33 boxes taken from an office and a storage room at Mar-a-Lago during the search on August 8.

Though the inventory does not describe any of the documents, it shows the extent to which classified information - including material at the top-secret level - was kept in boxes and containers at the home and commingled among newspapers, magazines, clothing and other personal items.

Read more: 184 classified documents, including 25 marked ‘Top Secret’, at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, court papers show

Read more: Trump claims FBI agents 'stole' three of his passports during raid at Mar-a-Lago

The Justice Department said there was no secure space at Mar-a-Lago for such sensitive government secrets and has opened a criminal investigation focused on their retention there - and on what it says were efforts in the last several months to obstruct that probe.

A collection of documents seized by the FBI on August 8th during a search on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort home
A collection of documents seized by the FBI on August 8th during a search on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort home. Picture: Alamy

The inventory shows 43 empty folders with classified banners were taken from a box or container at the office, along with an additional 28 empty folders labelled as "return to staff secretary" or military aide.

Empty folders of that nature were also found in a storage closet.

It is not clear from the inventory list why any of the folders were empty or what might have happened to any of the documents inside.

Read more: Sadiq Khan 'failed to follow due process and respect the dignity of Cressida Dick' when she was ousted as Met boss

It was revealed last week that 184 classified documents, including 25 marked 'Top Secret', were found at the estate.

Mr Trump on Wednesday argued that the National Archives should have expected to find classified documents at his home, and said it should not have led to a search of his Florida residence.

"The purported justification for the initiation of this criminal probe was the alleged discovery of sensitive information contained within the 15 boxes of Presidential records," Mr Trump’s lawyers wrote.

"But this 'discovery' was to be fully anticipated given the very nature of Presidential records.

"Simply put, the notion that Presidential records would contain sensitive information should have never been cause for alarm."

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