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Trump responds to DOJ ‘classified’ docs photo, allegations

President Trump at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit. (Shealah Craighead/White House)
August 31, 2022

Former President Donald Trump slammed the Department of Justice on Wednesday after the DOJ released a photo that was allegedly taken during the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, which showed several documents marked “secret” and “top secret” strewn across the floor.

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“Terrible the way the FBI, during the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see. Thought they wanted them kept Secret? Lucky I Declassified!” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.

The Justice Department said it received evidence that classified documents were “likely” concealed at Trump’s home in defiance of a grand jury subpoena, leading to the raid on Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, according to a new DOJ court filing released on Tuesday. 

“Through further investigation, the FBI uncovered multiple sources of evidence indicating that the response to the May 11 grand jury subpoena was incomplete and that classified documents remained at the Premises, notwithstanding the sworn certification made to the government on June 3,” the filing stated. 

“In particular, the government developed evidence that a search limited to the Storage Room would not have uncovered all the classified documents at the Premises,” it continued. “The government also developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed from the Storage Room and that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”

“That the FBI, in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former President’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter,” it added.

Last week, Trump’s lawyers asked a federal judge to appoint a third-party attorney known as a “special master” to review the documents seized during the FBI’s raid. The Justice Department pushed back on that request in this filing, arguing that the “appointment of a special master is unnecessary and would significantly harm important governmental interests, including national security interests.” 

“Furthermore, appointment of a special master would impede the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and—if the special master were tasked with reviewing classified documents—would impede the Intelligence Community from conducting its ongoing review of the national security risk that improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused and from identifying measures to rectify or mitigate any damage that improper storage caused,” it stated.

“Lastly, this case does not involve any of the types of circumstances that have warranted appointment of a special master to review materials potentially subject to attorney-client privilege,” the filing added.