Property receipt indicates bureau removed top secret, sensitive compartmented information from Trump's estate
FBI agents removed 11 sets of classified documents from former US President Donald Trump
's Mar-a-Lago estate, including some marked "Top Secret," according to court records unsealed on Friday.
The property receipt listing the documents was made public in federal court by Judge Bruce Reinhart alongside the warrant used to carry out Monday's search. The Justice Department requested the documents be made public amid backlash from Trump and his Republican allies following the unprecedented search.
The levels of classification listed in the property receipt span the gamut from top secret, to secret, and confidential. One set included what is known as sensitive compartmented information, a classification reserved for the highest level of classification.
No details on the documents were provided in the list.
The search warrant indicates the FBI is investigating Trump for violations of three federal laws, including the gathering, losing, or transmitting of defense information; the concealment, removal, or mutilation generally of official records; and destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in federal investigations.
The warrant authorized agents to seize any related property, including documents, communications, and "any government and/or Presidential Records created between January 20, 2017, and January 20, 2021."
The property receipt says that in addition to the classified materials that were taken away, FBI agents retrieved documents that included Trump's order granting clemency to political ally Roger Stone, a "leatherbound box of documents," two binders of photos, a potential presidential record, and information regarding the French president.
It did not specify the French leader, but was likely referring to Emmanuel Macron who was in office during Trump's term.
Under fire from Trump and his allies, Garland defended the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago on Thursday in exceedingly rare comments on an ongoing investigation, saying he "personally approved" the decision to seek a search warrant, and emphasizing the Justice Department "does not take such decision lightly."
"Faithful adherence to the rule of law is the bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy. Upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is doing," Garland said.
Trump has sought to frame the raid as a politically-motivated attack, charges Garland dismissed as he defended "the professionalism of the FBI and Justice Department agents and prosecutors."
The US National Archives and Records Administration retrieved 15 boxes of White House documents in January from Mar-a-Lago, which should have been turned over to the agency when Trump left the White House.
The Archives later notified Congress that the boxes contained "items marked as classified national security information."
In June, federal investigators served Trump with a grand jury subpoena and seized "sensitive national security documents" from Mar-a-Lago, CNN reported. Monday's search was executed because the FBI had evidence, including from an eyewitness, that additional materials remained at the exclusive club and ex-presidential residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
Trump said on his social media platform on Thursday that his attorneys were "cooperating fully" with investigators and had developed "very good relationships" with Justice Department officials.