The Federal Bureau of Investigation agents recovered documents marked “top secret” during the search of former United States President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida earlier this week, the Associated Press reported, citing court documents released on Friday.
A property receipt released showed that some of the seized materials were labeled as “top secret’ and “sensitive compartmented information” – one of the highest levels of classification. Information categorised in such a manner is meant to be accessed only in a secure government facility.
Officials also made public a sealed warrant explaining the unprecedented raid at Trump’s home on Monday following a federal judge’s order. According to it, federal agents were investigating potential violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records, The Guardian reported.
In total, federal agents collected four sets of “top secret” files, three sets of “secret” documents and three sets of “confidential” material, according to the receipt. Officials also seized a binder of photos and at least one handwritten note during the search.
Trump, however, claimed that documents seized during the raid were declassified. “The power to classify and declassify documents rests solely with the President of the United States,” a statement from his office said.
On Thursday, the 76-year-old had said that he supported the release of documents seized. “Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents,” he added.
Some Republican allies of Trump have criticised the Justice Department and the FBI, accusing them of partisanship in targeting the former president, who is considering another run for the White House in 2024.