US Government Seized Over 11,000 Non-Classified Documents From Trump’s Home

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
September 2, 2022 Updated: September 2, 2022

FBI agents seized over 11,000 documents and photographs without classified markings from the home of former President Donald Trump, according to an inventory released on Sept. 2.

Agents during the Aug. 8 raid at Mar-a-Lago seized 11,179 materials that were not marked classified, the inventory says.

They also took 103 documents marked classified, including some marked top secret.

The warrant, approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart days earlier, enabled agents to seize any documents with classification markings, as well as containers in which the documents were located and any containers stored or found together with the documents.

It also let agents seize information regarding the retrieval, storage, or transmission of national defense information or classified material; any government and/or presidential records created between Jan. 20, 2017, and Jan. 20, 2021; and any evidence “of the knowing alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification markings.”

A property receipt, or inventory list, was given to a Trump lawyer as agents left, but the more detailed inventory list was submitted to a federal court on Friday on the orders of a judge.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, is considering whether to appoint a special master to review the materials the government seized and separate out those that may be privileged.

The more detailed receipt also shows that the government seized 1,673 magazines/newspapers/press articles and other printed media, some dating back to 2008; 48 empty folders with classified banners; 42 empty folders labeled “return to staff secretary/military aide”; 19 articles of clothing/gift items; and 33 books.

The original inventory listed no gifts or clothing, no folders, and no books.

It primarily listed boxes of items, miscellaneous documents, some classified, and binders of photographs.

The government later acknowledged that it seized three passports from Trump that have since been returned.

Spokesman Responds

Taylor Budowich, a Trump spokesman, said the new list “only further proves that this unprecedented and unnecessary raid of President Trump’s home was not some surgical, confined search and retrieval that the Biden administration claims, it was a SMASH AND GRAB.”

“These document disputes should be resolved under the Presidential Records Act, which requires cooperation and negotiation by NARA, not an armed FBI raid,” he added.

The investigation started after a referral from the National Archives and Records Administration.

The agency received boxes of documents from Mar-a-Lago in January and identified some with classified markings. Officials notified the Department of Justice, which later gained access to the materials and confirmed the markings.

Every Item Reviewed

Also on Friday, top Department of Justice official Jay Bratt informed Cannon that authorities have reviewed all items seized from Mar-a-Lago that were not deemed potentially privileged by a department filter team.

Bratt said that all evidence pertaining to the seized items, including how they were stored, will inform the government’s “active criminal investigation” and said it was important to note that the review of the materials “is not a single investigative step but an ongoing process” in the investigation.

“That said, the government can confirm for the Court that the investigative team has already examined every item seized (other than materials that remain subject to the filter protocols), even as its investigation and further review continues,” Bratt said.

Investigators have been and will continue to be “mindful of the potential for attorney-client privilege issues and the filter protocols contained in the search warrant,” he added.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.