Which Foreign Nation's Nuclear Secrets Did the FBI Find at Trump Home?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has seized classified documents from former US President Donald Trump's Florida home, according to reports. One document of particular interest highlights a "foreign power's" nuclear and military capabilities. The country's name has not been disclosed, according to the Washington Post.

It was so "highly classified", as per a report, that only the president and cabinet, or near-cabinet level officials would be cleared to authorize other government officials to access them. The FBI counter-intelligence personnel and Department of Justice lawyers conducting the review had to get additional clearances before they were allowed to review certain documents.

The raid came after a review of "highly classified" records that Trump eventually surrendered in January 2022. Trump's lawyers had to provide "sworn certification" that they, the additional 38 classified documents, represented the last of the material. However, the federal agency uncovered multiple sources of evidence showing that classified documents remained at Mar-a-Lago.

Special Clearances

Such documents require special clearances on a need-to-know basis. The FBI found more than 40 empty folders with "classified" banners on them at Mar-a-Lago. According to the detailed property inventory, the investigators also found almost four dozen empty folders marked "Return to Staff Secretary/Military Aide". It should be noted that Washington has not publicly indicated that it believes any classified documents are missing.

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Meanwhile, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is leading a damage assessment of the documents removed from Trump's residence to determine the potential risk to national security that "improper storage of these highly sensitive materials may have caused", and identify measures to rectify or mitigate such damages.

Increasing Legal Pressure

The former president is facing increasing legal pressure. The Justice Department believes the top secret documents were "likely concealed" to obstruct the FBI probe into Trump's potential mishandling of classified material. But the former US president has accused the Justice Department of launching a partisan witch-hunt against him. He had requested that a special master, a third-party attorney, review the seized material to assess it for potential attorney-client or executive privilege issues. The DoJ had argued against the need for a special master as it would harm important governmental interests, including national security interests.

Aileen Cannon, a US judge appointed during the Trump administration, ruled that a special master should be able to review the seized documents to address questions of attorney-client privilege and to litigate claims of executive privilege. She said the plaintiff also faces an unquantifiable potential harm by way of improper disclosure of sensitive information to the public.

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