The staggering number of classified documents that Donald Trump took with him when he left the White House last year has been revealed in a new report. These documents were a contributing factor in an FBI raid that took place at his home earlier this month.
According to a report in The New York Times, the United States government was able to collect more than 300 papers from the former president after several documents were either voluntarily given in or acquired during an authorised search of Mr Trump’s house at Mar-a-Lago.
According to the publication, the National Archives retrieved more than 150 classified documents in January, which were then followed by Mr Trump’s aides handing up a few dozen files in early June.
Later, in August, the FBI went back to Mr Trump’s residence and retrieved an additional 26 boxes. Of those 26 boxes, 11 contained information that was labelled as classified, and another set contained information that was considered top secret.
A source divulged to The New York Times that the 15 boxes that were returned to the archives in January consisted of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the FBI. While the nature of all 300 documents is still unknown at this time, it was reported by this source to The New York Times.
It has been suggested that Mr Trump obtained FBI files that included information on Mr Macron, the current President of France, and this has given rise to some cause for alarm.
Additional sources indicate that Mr Trump may have inspected the contents of some of the 15 boxes before their return.
The investigations that are being conducted into Mr Trump by the Justice Department are still ongoing, which may imply that he has further records that have gone missing.
Following their disappearance from the White House, more than 300 papers were located in Donald Trump’s possession and brought back. The photograph was taken by Ronda Churchill of the AFP.
The revelation was made on the same day that Mr Trump filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging it over the raid that the FBI conducted on his residence.
Mr Trump has asked the agency to hold off on reading the confiscated information until an official of the court is appointed to review the relevant records.
In a letter that has been submitted to the court, the defendant is asking for the government to restore any items that were taken “outside of the scope of the search order.”
This request was filed in response to charges made by the former president, who claims that his passport was “stolen” by the FBI during the raid.
“Wow! In the raid that the FBI conducted at Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three passports (one of which was expired), along with everything else,” Mr Trump said in a post that was published on his Truth Social network on Monday, according to a story from the New York Post.
“This is an attack on a political opponent in our country on a level that has never been witnessed before.” Oh, the Third World!
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If Mr Trump is found guilty of mishandling defence material and sentenced under the Espionage Act, he could face a fine or up to ten years in prison, depending on the severity of the offence.
A probable conviction may also destroy his chances of running for reelection in 2024, which would take place four years later.