By NICOLE SILVERIO, MEDIA REPORTER | September 06, 2022
The government anonymously leaked accusations that the FBI retrieved a document detailing a foreign government’s military defenses and nuclear capabilities inside Mar-a-Lago.
A slew of the documents obtained at the Aug. 8 raid at Mar-a-Lago allegedly contained top secret content that only the president, his Cabinet members and near-Cabinet-level members are authorized to have knowledge of, sources told The Washington Post. Some of the information requires special clearances where only a few dozen people are allowed to have access to the operation’s existence. The sources did not reveal which foreign government’s information was contained in the document nor where in Mar-a-Lago the material was found, The Post reported. The leakers provided no detail on these so-called “nuclear documents,” leading to many unanswered questions on the severity and actual content in this document.
U.S. intelligence and defense communities have four separate categories for material classified as “nuclear documents:” nuclear weapon science and design, nuclear plans for allied countries, including Britain and France, plans for adversaries and nations in the gray zones that include Israel and India.
The FBI searched Trump’s home in part to find any classified documents relating to nuclear weapons, The Post previously reported. A receipt of property released to the public Aug. 12 disclosed that the FBI obtained 11 sets of classified documents, around 300 in total. These sets consisted of four sets of top secret information, three sets of secret and three more sets of confidential material. (RELATED: DOJ Says It Already Reviewed Documents Taken In Mar-A-Lago Raid)
The Department of Justice (DOJ) later released a highly redacted affidavit revealing that 14 out the 15 boxes sent to the National Archives and Record Association (NARA) in January had classification markings. The boxes contained 184 documents – 25 of the documents had “top secret” markings, 92 were labeled “secret” and 67 had a “confidential” warning. The document on the foreign government was one of the last batches of material found, The Post reported.
A grand jury issued May 11 ordered for all classified documents and top secret information to be returned to NARA, The Post reported. The subpoena listed more than two dozen sub-classifications of documents labeled “S/FRD,” which is primarily saved for the military use of nuclear weapons.
Agents reportedly found documents that are top secret to the extent that senior officials in President Joe Biden’s administration are unauthorized to review them, according to The Post. Some of the documents were referred to as “HUMINT Control Systems,” which are used to protect intelligence gathered from secret human sources. Some material was never meant to be shared with foreign nations, according to the affidavit.
U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon approved Trump’s request for a special master to review the documents and temporarily barred the Department of Justice further review of the material. Some of the material had reportedly been subject to attorney-client privilege, though the DOJ found “limited” items protected under those terms.