Here's What FBI Took From Trump's Mar-a-Lago, According to New Report

The FBI took about 20 boxes of items when federal agents raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Monday, including top secret (TS) and sensitive compartmentalized information (SCI) as well as information about the "President of France," according to a Friday report by The Wall Street Journal.

News that Trump was improperly holding federal documents and records at his Palm Beach resort home first broke in early February, when the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) confirmed that it had been searching for 15 boxes of records. Trump did not deny the story at the time, saying it was a mix-up as his staff hastily moved him out of the White House.

After the 15 boxes were turned over to the NARA, that collection led to further suspicion that Trump still possessed additional materials. Federal investigators began interviewing Trump White House and Mar-a-Lago staffers to determine what was moved. The interviews, and a broader investigation overseen by a U.S. attorney, resulted in a grand jury subpoena served on Trump in late May to produce specific documents.

After the documents were not quickly turned over, the FBI and the Justice Department chose to take the unprecedented step of carrying out a search warrant against a former president on Monday. The decision was approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland, and a federal judge signed off on the warrant, believing the FBI had shown probable cause for the raid.

Donald Trump
The FBI took approximately 20 boxes of items when federal law enforcement agents raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Monday. Above, Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James in a civil investigation on August 10, 2022, in New York City. James Devaney/GC Images

The Journal reported Friday afternoon, citing documents its journalists had reviewed, that the FBI had gathered some 20 boxes, which held binders of photos, a handwritten note and the official document granting a pardon to Trump ally Roger Stone. The list also reportedly said there was information about the "President of France."

Agents reportedly collected "various classified/TS/SCI documents," as well as four sets of top-secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents. Agents reportedly searched the former president's office as well as "storage rooms and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [Trump] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored, including all structures or buildings on the estate."

Trump and his allies have blasted the FBI search as political persecution. The former president has described the raid as part of a broader partisan "witch hunt," contending that his political rivals aim to prevent him from seeking the presidency again. He has also called for the warrant and other documents related to the search to be made public, although his attorneys were given copies and could release them at any time.

Garland in a brief statement to the press on Thursday afternoon said that the Justice Department had filed a motion to unseal the warrant. However, Trump and his attorneys were given a deadline of 3 p.m. ET Friday to object to the unsealing. The former president insisted on his social media platform Truth Social that he wanted the documents unsealed.

"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," Trump wrote.

Attorneys for Trump have argued that he used executive authority before departing the White House to declassify the sensitive materials. While presidents have wide latitude to declassify information, there are specific federal regulations outlining a process for doing so. Some legal experts have posited that some of the documents recovered by the FBI might have been classified in a way that does not allow for a president to unilaterally declassify them.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's press office for comment.