Federal agents were reportedly searching for highly classified documents on “nuclear weapons” during their raid on the Florida home of former President Donald Trump earlier this week.
According to a report in the Washington Post, sources familiar with the investigation did not offer specific details on whether the alleged documents on nuclear weapons were on weapons possessed by the United States or weapons in possession of a foreign nation. The report did not disclose if any of these purported documents were recovered during the search.
“If that is true, it would suggest that material residing unlawfully at Mar-a-Lago may have been classified at the highest classification level,” said David Laufman, the former chief of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section.
“If the FBI and the Department of Justice believed there were top secret materials still at Mar-a-Lago, that would lend itself to greater ‘hair-on-fire’ motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible,” he said.
The New York Times reported that investigators reported classified material, some of which carried a “top secret” designation.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland did not disclose any specifics of the ongoing investigation but confirmed that he personally approved the search warrant on Mar-a-Lago.
He added that the justice department was moving to unseal the warrant.
“Just now the Justice Department has filed a motion in the southern district of Florida to unseal a search warrant and property receipt relating to a court-approved search that the F.B.I. conducted earlier this week” at Mar-a-Lago, Garland said. “The department filed the motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter.”
“I personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant in this matter,” Garland added. “Second, the department does not take such a decision lightly. Where possible, it is standard practice to seek less intrusive means as an alternative to a search and to narrowly scope any search that is undertaken.”