FBI search warrant shows Trump being investigated for potential obstruction of justice and Espionage Act violations


The warrant shows that federal law enforcement was investigating Trump for deleting or destroying records, obstructing justice and violating the Espionage Act – which can encompass crimes other than espionage, such as refusing to return national security documents upon request. A conviction under the laws can result in jail time or fines.

The documents, unsealed after the Justice Department demanded their public release amid relentless attacks by Trump and his GOP allies, underscore the extraordinary national security threat that federal investigators believed the missing documents presented. . The concern has grown so acute that Attorney General Merrick Garland last week approved the unprecedented search of Trump’s estate.

The release of the documents comes four days after Trump publicly confirmed the court-authorized search of his Mar-a-Lago home by the FBI, rallying his political allies to spark heavy criticism of federal investigators. But the details of the warrant underscore the seriousness of the investigation – an unprecedented probe into a former president for mishandling some of the country’s most sensitive secrets.

Trump has claimed since Monday that he had been cooperating with National Archives and FBI investigators for months and that the unannounced search was an unnecessary escalation. But after several rounds of negotiations in which documents were recovered by the Archives, federal investigators came to believe that Trump had not returned everything in his possession.

The search warrant, signed Aug. 5 by Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, found dozens of items were seized, most described vaguely as a « leather-bound document box », « photo binder » and « handwritten note ».

Other items on the list indicate the presence of classified documents, describing them as « various top secret documents » and « various confidential documents ».

Stone’s attorney, Grant Smith, said the longtime Trump ally « has no knowledge of the facts surrounding his clemency papers listed on the inventory of items seized from former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago ».

Shortly after 3 p.m., the Justice Department confirmed that Trump’s lawyers would not oppose the release of the search warrant and the underlying receipt of the documents, which had already begun to circulate widely.

Meridith McGraw contributed reporting.


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