The Justice Department on Friday released the affidavit in support of a search conducted Aug. 8 at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, showing that after classified documents were found in boxes he handed over voluntarily, the Justice Department suspected there were more at his Florida residence.
The DOJ was unsuccessful in keeping the document under seal, but a federal judge allowed the department to heavily redact its contents to protect the identities of agents and potential witnesses.
New details from the affidavit were scant. It did reveal, however, that when Trump voluntarily handed over 15 boxes of documents earlier this year, archivists found 184 that were marked classified; 25 of which were “top secret.” It also states that there is “probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found” at Mar-a-Lago.
The National Archives Administration referred the matter to the Department of Justice, and the FBI began to investigate. Agents determined that “National Defense Information” was among the documents that Trump handed over, and the department began to seek a search warrant, which the affidavit supports.
“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” reads the top line of the affidavit. “The investigation began as a result of a referral the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) sent to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on Febmary 9, 2022, hereinafter, ‘NARA Referral.’”
Trump reacted on his Truth Social platform Friday, bringing back the old “WITCH HUNT!!!” chestnut after this longer statement:
“Affidavit heavily redacted!!! Nothing mentioned on ‘Nuclear,’ a total public relations subterfuge by the FBI & DOJ, or our close working relationship regarding document turnover – WE GAVE THEM MUCH. Judge Bruce Reinhart should NEVER have allowed the Break-In of my home. He recused himself two months ago from one of my cases based on his animosity and hatred of your favorite President, me. What changed? Why hasn’t he recused himself on this case? Obama must be very proud of him right now!”