- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 13, 2022

A federal judge on Tuesday unsealed new portions of the affidavit used by the FBI to justify its search of former President Trump’s residence, revealing for the first time that he had returned more documents to the government than originally reported.

But it also revealed that the FBI had “probable cause to believe” that it would find additional classified materials, including national defense information, at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence beyond what he had already turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration.

The newly unredacted portions show that Mr. Trump handed over additional documents with classification markings in response to a grand jury subpoena. Those materials were in addition to the original 15 boxes of records that Mr. Trump provided the National Archives in January.



“Since the fifteen boxes were provided to [National Archives], documents bearing classifications markings, which appear to contain [national defense information] and were stored at the premises in an unauthorized location, have been produced to the government in response to a grand jury subpoena,” the unredacted portion of the affidavit says.

The affidavit also revealed that some of those classified documents contained files marked, “HCS, SI, and FISA,” some of the U.S. government’s highest security designations.

“HCS” refers to confidential human sources, or spies, and the information they’ve gathered; “SI” refers to work done by the National Security Agency; and “FISA” deals with domestic surveillance and wiretapping of potential foreign threats to the U.S.

The 15 boxes of materials that Mr. Trump voluntarily returned to the National Archives in January had similar markings.

Also revealed Tuesday was that a grand jury subpoena was served to Mr. Trump’s team on June 24. The subpoena demanded that the Trump Organization turn over “any and all surveillance records” from the basement in Mar-a-Lago — where some of the sensitive documents allegedly had been stored since Jan. 10.

Mr. Trump’s legal team complied with the subpoena on July 6, handing the FBI a hard drive, according to the affidavit.

U.S. Magistrate Bruce Reinhart signed off on the FBI’s search warrant for the Aug. 8 search at Mar-a-Lago based on the affidavit.

Currently, Mr. Trump’s legal team and the Justice Department are sparring over having a special master review the documents seized by the FBI.

While the Justice Department and Mr. Trump have agreed on one candidate, it is up to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to decide how many candidates should serve as special masters. The Justice Department is asking her to appoint three candidates.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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