The warrant identifies three federal crimes the Department of Justice looks into as part of its investigation: violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and criminalization of government records. The inclusion of crimes indicates that the Department of Justice has probable reason to investigate these crimes as it collected evidence in the search. Currently, no one has been charged with a crime.
According to court documents, the agents also received four sets of “top secret” documents, three sets of “secret” documents, and three sets of “secret” documents. In total, the unsealed order indicates that the FBI collected more than 20 boxes, as well as folders of photographs, secret sets of government materials, and at least one handwritten note.
The permission, which was unsealed and made public by order of a federal judge, was obtained before it was broadcast by CNN. This moment marks an unprecedented week, beginning with the search, the evidence-gathering step in the national security investigation.
Search warrant reveals new details about scope of FBI investigation
While details on the documents themselves are scarce, the laws outlined in the warrant offer new insights into what the FBI was looking for when they searched Trump’s home; This is an unprecedented step that has sparked a storm of criticism from the former President’s closest allies.
The laws cover “destroying or concealing documents to hinder government investigations” and the illegal removal of government records, according to a search warrant issued Friday.
Also among the laws listed is a law known as the Espionage Act, which relates to “receiving, storing or transmitting national defense information or classified material.”
All three penal codes referred to in the warrant are derived from Title 18 of the United States Code. Neither is dependent solely on whether the information is considered unclassified.
It’s unclear how the Stone-related document obtained during the search is linked to the broader criminal investigation into Trump’s potential misuse of classified material.
During the search, FBI agents also found material about the “President of France”, according to the search warrant receipt. The French embassy in Washington declined to respond to the development on Friday.
FBI agents search ’45 Office’ in Mar-a-Lago
Court documents released Friday also offer new details about the search itself, revealing that FBI agents were only allowed access to certain locations within Mar-a-Lago as they scanned Trump’s resort for potential criminal evidence.
The FBI was allowed to search “any other room or area” in Mar-a-Lago that Trump and his team could use to store boxes and documents, the FBI called the bureau’s “45 Office.”
Locations to look for include the ’45 Office’, all storage rooms, and any other room or space within the building that is used or available to be used by FPOTUS and its staff, and where boxes or documents can be stored, including all structures. or buildings on the grounds,” says the order, using the acronym “FPOTUS” to refer to the Former President of the United States.
The FBI’s warrant application for the judge specifically said that federal agents would avoid being hired or used by third parties, such as “Mar-a-Lago members” and “special guest suites.” Trump owns the sprawling property and is his primary residence, as well as a members-only club and resort.
Describing the Mar-a-Lago property to the judge in their filing, FBI agents said, “It is described as a mansion with approximately 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms on 17 acres.”
Trump did not oppose the release of the warrant
The FBI search at the Palm Beach, Florida, resort on Monday was followed by days of silence from the Justice Department, as the department normally practiced for ongoing investigations.
Then on Thursday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the department was taking action to open the search warrant and two supplements, including an inventory list, but also stressed that some of the department’s work must take place outside of the public.
“We are doing this to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans and to protect the integrity of our investigations,” said Garland, explaining that he would not provide further details on the basis of the search.
In a late-night post on the Truth Social platform on Thursday, Trump said he would “not oppose the publication of the documents” and “go one step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate publication of these documents.”
The court had instructed the Justice Department to set a deadline on Friday to meet with Trump about his request to unseal the arrest documents and report on whether Trump is opposed to their release.
Trump’s team contacted outside attorneys on how to proceed, and the former President’s orbit was caught off-guard by Garland’s announcement.
In a double post to Truth Social following Garland’s statement, Trump continued to claim that his lawyers “cooperated fully” and developed “very good relations” with federal investigators prior to Monday’s call in Mar-a-Lago.
“If we had us, the government could have whatever they wanted,” Trump said. “Everything was fine, better than most of the previous Presidents, and then suddenly and without warning, Mar-a-Lago was raided at 6:30 a.m. by MULTIPLE agents and even ‘crackers’.”
This news and headline have been updated with additional developments.
Kevin Liptak of CNN contributed to this report.
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