The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee have made a joint request for lawmakers to be allowed to see the classified documents seized last week by the FBI during its raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Marco Rubio made the request Sunday to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida unsealed and released the search warrant for the raid. The warrant revealed Trump is being investigated for three federal crimes: violating the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records. The FBI reportedly seized 11 sets of classified documents during its search, including papers marked as “top secret/SCI” — which stands for “sensitive compartmented information” — one of the highest levels of classification. Last week The Washington Post reported part of the FBI search focused on classified documents related to nuclear weapons.
According to The New York Times, an attorney for Trump had signed a statement in June telling the Justice Department that all classified material had been returned. But investigators later learned that was not true. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the raid on Friday.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “There are laws against the improper handling of this material. There are laws against that. And we have to recognize that. This information, as it is coming across — and we don’t, we’ll know more later — is highly classified, well above top secret. It is, again, higher than top secret. It’s top secret/SCI. It’s about our national security, as we are told, and we’ll see.”
Donald Trump’s response to the raid has shifted day by day. He has called the probe a hoax. He has claimed to have declassified all of the documents at Mar-a-Lago. And he has demanded the FBI return some documents, claiming they are protected by attorney-client and executive privileges.
Fallout from the FBI raid is continuing to grow across the country as Republican lawmakers denounce the FBI, with Florida Senator Rick Scott comparing the agency to the Gestapo in Nazi Germany. The FBI is reportedly investigating an “unprecedented” number of threats against its agents over the past week. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have also issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning of “violent threats” against federal agents, court officials and government facilities. We will have more on this story after headlines.