The release of an amended affidavit used by the Justice Department to obtain a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home sheds new light on the federal investigation into his handling of White House documents.
A court filing unsealed Friday went into previously unknown details about classified information found in a box retrieved from Trump’s Florida resort in January. He also laid out aspects of the timeline of how the investigation unfolded.
The filing shows, among other things, that documents illegally mishandled at Mar-a-Lago contained some of America’s most sensitive secrets.
Here are some key points from the recently released document:
The FBI said there was “obstructive evidence” and classified defense documents
The FBI told U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhardt that the search would find “evidence of obstruction” and explain in court that there is “probable cause to believe” that classified national security material was improperly transported to an “unauthorized” location by Trump. Resort
The FBI found 184 classified documents in 15 boxes earlier this year
In May, when the FBI reviewed 15 boxes obtained by the National Archives from a Florida resort in January, they found “184 unique documents marked classified,” the affidavit said.
The material included “67 documents marked as confidential, 92 documents marked as secret and 25 documents marked as top secret,” according to the filing.
New details on how the DOJ got involved in the document fracas in the first place
The FBI’s investigation began after a criminal referral from the National Archives on February 9, in which the archives said the box contained “numerous classified records.”
An archives official said there was “significant concern” over the fact that “highly classified records…were mixed in with other records” and not properly identified.
Redactions keep the barrier evidence secret for now
The third potential offense cited by the warrant material — obstruction — does not have an unrelated subtitle in the affidavit. The FBI would have had to convince a court why Mar-a-Lago was likely to contain evidence of that crime, so the lack of redacted details about that evidence suggests that part of the department is particularly sensitive. That aspect of his investigation is being made public.
The DOJ keeps details of the personnel involved close to the chest
The department said in its legal brief justifying the memo that FBI employees who had already been identified as involved in the investigation had “received threats of violence from members of the public.”
The FBI told the judge that “[m]”Inner but important” amendments to the affidavit were necessary to “protect the safety of law enforcement personnel.”
CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Caitlin Polantz contributed to this report.