The FBI seized files detailing the nuclear capabilities of a foreign country when its agents executed a search warrant at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and residence last month, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
The stunning implications of such documents — which are classified at some of the highest levels existing in federal law — being held at a private residence where concerns have been raised about the organisation and security of their keeping cannot be understated. The revelation brings the public the clearest understanding so far regarding why US intelligence agencies would need to conduct an assessment of any risks to national security in the wake of the FBI raid.
If accurate, the report also shreds any defence by Mr Trump and his allies claiming that the documents seized by the FBI were harmless and solely intended for his use in a memoir, presidential library, or other project. It’s hard to imagine a valid need for a former president to have such information on-hand.
Mr Trump’s closest defenders have mades such arguments for weeks — Sen Marco Rubio, who represents the state in which the raid occurred, said only this week that the investigation amounted to a mere records issue. Tuesday’s revelation by the Post would put the Justice Department squarely in the territory of investigating of mishandling classified materials, to say nothing of the records act violations Mr Trump could be accused of as well.
The Independent has reached out to the former president’s office for comment.