Court filings show Trump handled ‘classified’ documents after leaving office

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As per some court filings, former US President Donald Trump retained documents bearing classification markings, along with communications from after his presidency. This is the part of the description of the materials seized by the FBI as part of the ongoing criminal investigation into whether he mishandled national security information.

An eight-page filing regarding the same was submitted by the justice department on Saturday to Raymond Dearie. The special master has been tasked with examining whether the 103 documents seized by the FBI should be considered as evidence or not. 

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He reportedly kept one document marked “secret” and one marked “confidential”, besides three communications from a book author, in the desk drawer of his office at the Mar-a-Lago property. Notably, the communications bear the dates from after Trump left office.

The justice department has been investigating unauthorised possession of national security materials, concealment of government records, and obstruction by Trump. The latest reports can be considered as evidence that Trump knowingly retained documents marked classified long after he had left office.

While Trump has claimed that all documents at Mar-a-Lago had been declassified before he left office, there has never been any evidence about it, leading to a dispute over the status of the documents. 

 

The justice department says in the filing, “Because plaintiff (Trump) can only have received the documents bearing classification markings in his capacity as president, the entire mixed document is a presidential record.”

The FBI in its August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago had found a leather-bound box containing some of the most sensitive records. Seven documents marked “top secret”, 15 marked “secret”, two marked “confidential”, as well as 45 empty folders with “classified” banners and 28 folders marked “Return to Staff Secretary/Military helpe” were discovered.

Trump, who is expected to announce a presidential run Tuesday, has said that the entire investigation has been made up to target him politically.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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