Documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida home in August included highly sensitive information about Iran and China that risked exposing US espionage methods, The Washington Post reported on Friday.
Among the documents recovered by Justice Department investigators was one that described Iran’s missile program and another that “described highly sensitive intelligence work targeting China,” the Post said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Investigators seized some 11,000 documents in the raid to recover what the government says should be in US archives but which Trump illegally took with him when he left the White House in January 2021.
Among these were just over 100 classified documents, some of them classified as top secret and normally kept under seal with only a few people authorized to access them.
However, at Mar-a-Lago, they were kept in locations that included Trump’s personal office, with little security, according to the Justice Department.
The Justice Department justified the raid on national security grounds, saying Trump was suspected of violating the Espionage Act, which prohibits the retention and sharing of highly sensitive national defense documents.
He was also suspected of obstruction, after his lawyers told the department in June that there were no longer any government documents held at Mar-a-Lago.
But Trump has not been charged. After Trump filed a lawsuit, this court appointed an independent “special counsel” to review the documents to determine which might be covered by his claims of privilege over them.
Many of the documents, which mixed government records with Trump’s personal legal and financial documents as well as news clippings and memorabilia, will be returned to the former president.
In a filing Thursday with the special master, the Justice Department said that among official government documents, there were only 15 documents over which privilege is disputed by both parties.
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