FBI Agents Reportedly Looked For Nuclear Documents In Search Of Trump’s Home

fbi-agents-reportedly-looked-for-nuclear-documents-in-search-of-trump’s-home

Topline

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation looked for nuclear weapon-related records when they executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home earlier this week, the Washington Post reported Thursday, offering a hint as to why authorities undertook such an unprecedented search.

The Atlantic Ocean is seen adjacent to President Donald Trump’s beachfront Mar-a-Lago resort, which … [+] was the site of an unprecedented FBI raid on Monday.

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Key Facts

It’s unclear what kinds of nuclear documents were sought or whether the FBI actually found any nuclear records, the Post wrote, citing unnamed sources.

The possibility that sensitive federal records were brought to Mar-a-Lago after Trump left office has raised concerns for months: The National Archives said six months ago a trove of records recovered from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year included “classified national security information,” and the Post reported in February some of those documents were so sensitive that the government can’t even describe them publicly.

However, the nuclear documents that were apparently among the items sought in Monday’s search are particularly sensitive and closely guarded, former Department of Justice counterintelligence chief David Laufman told the Post.

Forbes has reached out to Trump’s office and the DOJ for comment.

What We Don’t Know

It’s not clear what other kinds of documents the FBI sought during the raid, or what crimes they believe may have been committed. A copy of the search warrant—which would offer more details about the raid—remains under seal, but the Department of Justice has petitioned a Florida federal court to release it publicly, and Trump’s attorneys have until Friday afternoon to respond to the motion.

Key Background

Monday’s raid marked a sharp escalation in the DOJ’s investigation into Trump. At a press conference Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland offered scant details about the search, but confirmed that he personally approved it. Multiple news outlets report the search was related to the DOJ’s months-long probe of whether Trump or members of his administration mishandled sensitive federal government documents. The investigation first came to the public’s attention in February, when the National Archives said it picked up 15 boxes of Trump-era federal records from Mar-a-Lago—documents that should have been left in the government’s custody when Trump left office. In June, federal agents used a grand jury subpoena to take additional government documents from Mar-a-Lago, but a witness later told federal officials that sensitive materials still remained at Trump’s sprawling beachside estate, partially prompting this week’s search, CNN reported Thursday.

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