Trump supporters protest across from Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday after the FBI executed a search warrant on Monday looking for documents taken from the White House by former President Donald Trump. Photo by Gary I Rothstein/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 13 (UPI) — A lawyer for former President Donald Trump signed a written declaration in June claiming all classified documents held at Mar-a-Lago had been returned to the government, it was reported Saturday.
The signed letter has not previously been reported on but was made after Jay Bratt, the chief of counterintelligence at in the Justice Department’s National Security Division, visited Trump’s residence in Florida in June, sources told The New York Times and CNN.
Trump’s lawyers Evan Corcoran and Christina Bobb were at the June meeting with Bratt and other federal investigators who left with documents that were marked as classified, CNN previously reported. It was not immediately clear which of Trump’s lawyers signed the letter.
The revelation of the letter comes after a search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago on Monday shows top secret documents were among the items removed by the FBI, seemingly contradicting the written declaration.
A redacted inventory of items seized from Trump, who is under investigation for potential obstruction of justice and violations of the Espionage Act, shows that agents seized at least four sets of “miscellaneous” top secret documents.
The inventory, ordered to be released Friday by Federal Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, noted that the top secret documents were among “various classified/TS/SCI documents.”
Agents took three sets of “miscellaneous” documents categorized at a lower secret level, as well as a “confidential document” that was not described and two others described as “miscellaneous confidential documents.”
Information regarding the “president of France” was also seized, though it was not immediately clear how the information related to French President Emmanuel Macron.
The FBI also seized the executive grant of clemency for Trump ally Roger Stone.
Other items seized include a “potential presidential record” and a handwritten note, as well as two binders of photos. The contents of the note and photos were not immediately known.
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” Trump claimed on his Truth Social website.
“Number one, it was all declassified. Number two, they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
The National Archives and Records Administration issued a statement Friday obtained by the Washington Post countering Trump’s claims about Obama administration records.
NARA, an independent federal agency tasked with preserving public records, said in its statement that it obtained “exclusive legal and physical custody” of Obama’s records when he left office.
Around 30 million pages of unclassified records were transferred to a NARA facility near Chicago where they are “exclusively” maintained by the agency, as required by the Presidential Records Act. Obama’s classified records are kept at a facility in Washington.
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