Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Some documents retrieved from Mar-a-Lago were so sensitive that FBI agents needed a special clearance to look at them, DOJ says

Tom Porter,Sonam Sheth
Wed, August 31, 2022 at 6:29 AM

Some of the documents that FBI agents retrieved after searching Mar-a-Lago were so classified that investigators needed special permission to view them, according to Justice Department court documents filed Tuesday.


"In some instances, even the FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys conducting the review required additional clearances before they were permitted to review certain documents," the filing said.

The department also attached exhibits to its filing, one of which was a photo showing some documents marked "contains sensitive compartmented information up to HCS-P/SI/TK." "HCS" refers to intelligence from clandestine human sources and is highly classified to protect their safety.


More importantly, even if Trump had declassified the materials in his possession, it likely wouldn't matter.

Section E of the Espionage Act, one of the three laws Trump is suspected of having violated, makes it a crime to retain any government records pertaining to the US's national defense, regardless of classification level.

The other two federal statutes Trump is suspected of having broken — 18 USC Section 2071 and 18 USC Section 1519 — criminalize the concealment, removal, and destruction of government records, also regardless of classification level.


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