Search in Mar a Lago: New details on what FBI agents have seized

The inventory shows the extent to which classified information was kept in boxes and containers at Trump’s and mixed with newspapers, magazines and clothing.

WASHINGTON — FBI agents who searched the Florida home of former President Donald Trump last month found empty folders marked with classified banners, according to a more accurate inventory of the seized material released by the Justice Department on Friday.

The inventory broadly reveals the contents of 33 boxes stolen from an office and storeroom in Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search. Although the inventory does not describe any of the documents, it does show the extent to which classified information – including top secret material – was kept in boxes and containers at home and mixed up with newspapers, magazines, clothing and other personal effects.

The Justice Department has said there is no safe place for such sensitive government secrets at Mar-a-Lago and has launched a criminal investigation focused on their storage there and efforts over the past few months to obstruct that investigation.

The inventory shows that 43 empty binders containing classified banners were removed from a box or container in the office, along with another 28 empty binders marked “return to staff secretary” or military aide. Empty folders of this type were also found in a store cupboard.

The inventory list does not reveal why any folders were empty or what might have happened to the documents inside.

On Thursday, a federal judge appeared to bolster Trump’s hopes of appointing an outside legal expert to review government records seized by the FBI, challenging the Justice Department’s arguments that Trump could not make the request and that a special foreman would unnecessarily delay his investigation.

“Ultimately, what’s the harm” in such an appointment, US District Judge Aileen Cannon asked department attorneys. But she didn’t decide on the application, saying she would do so later.

This type of review, they say, would allow “highly personal information” such as diaries or journals to be filtered out of the investigation and returned to Trump, along with any other documents that may be protected by attorney-client privilege and executive privilege. Search in Mar a Lago: New details on what FBI agents have seized

Laura Coffey

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