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DOJ sought documents from Mar-a-Lago labeled 'special access,' more classified than 'top secret': Report

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 8/12/2022 Victor I. Nava
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The documents sought by the FBI from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate this week included material labeled "special access," a label reserved for information even more classified than “top secret,” according to reports.

The classified information that Justice Department officials believe Trump took with him to his West Palm Beach, Florida, home after leaving the White House last year was so sensitive that authorities wanted to take it into possession immediately, according to the reports.

Sources familiar with the investigation told ABC News and the New York Times that the DOJ and the FBI were looking for material labeled “special access,” which is a designation beyond top secret and reserved for documents accessible only by the highest level security clearances that are only available to a limited number of individuals. The reports indicate that sensitive documents, related to some of the most highly classified U.S. programs, had national security implications, and government officials expressed concern that allowing the materials to remain at Mar-a-Lago could leave them vulnerable to foreign adversaries seeking to acquire them.


The documents wanted by the FBI that prompted the raid on Trump's home appear to have been related to nuclear weapons, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. It remains unclear whether the agency found any nuclear documents.

The inventory of items taken from Mar-a-Lago provided to Trump’s team after the raid is unlikely to reveal details about the specific documents he kept in Florida because of the sensitive nature of the material, according to the reports.

The ABC News report claims that federal investigators have questioned individuals close to the former president, including some members of his current staff and some former White House officials, about the documents he stored at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump reportedly received a subpoena in the spring in search of documents that investigators believed he had failed to hand over earlier in the year when 15 boxes of material from the White House were turned over to the National Archives. Archivists discovered several pages of classified material among the boxes of documents and flagged their discovery to the Justice Department, according to the New York Times, which prompted officials to come to believe that more classified material remained at Mar-a-Lago.


Trump attorney Christina Bobb cast doubt on there being documents related to nuclear weapons at Mar-a-Lago but could not say for certain when pressed Thursday on Fox News. "I have not specifically spoken to the president about what nuclear materials may or may not have been in there. I do not believe there were any in there," she said.

Trump has decried the raid as being politically motivated and has called on the DOJ to release the search warrant documents. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that he had personally approved the FBI’s decision to seek a search warrant. He also said that the Justice Department requested permission from a federal court to unseal the court-approved search warrant that authorized the FBI raid.


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Tags: Donald Trump, Mar-a-Lago, FBI, Justice Department, Merrick Garland, National Security

Original Author: Victor I. Nava

Original Location: DOJ sought documents from Mar-a-Lago labeled 'special access,' more classified than 'top secret': Report


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