In a stunning leak from the Department of Justice, a report on Tuesday disclosed information about top secret documents that were reportedly among the files seized by FBI agents at Donald Trump’s Florida resort last month.
Citing sources “familiar with the search,” The Washington Post said the documents detailed a foreign government’s military defenses and nuclear capabilities and can only be viewed by a select group of top officials.
The disclosure was published Tuesday, a day after the former president’s legal team won a request for a special master to review the documents over his lawyers’ concerns the feds would “impugn, leak, and publicize select aspects of their investigation.”
The foreign government described in the highly sensitive documents was not revealed by the sources but the news reportedly heightened concerns about the more than 100 classified documents found at the property and hundreds of others voluntarily recovered from Mar-a-Lago — some of which detail top-secret US operations that even senior national security officers were not aware of, according to the report.
Some special-access programs detailed in the documents were only authorized to be viewed by the president, some Cabinet members, and a couple dozen other government employees on a need-to-know basis, the article said.
Those especially sensitive records should have been kept under lock and key in a secure compound with a control officer keeping tabs on them, not in the former president’s private club under unknown security, according to the article.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was reportedly assessing how much potential harm was caused by Trump’s removal of the trove from federal custody for the 18 months since he held office.
Of the 184 classified documents retrieved, 25 were marked as top secret, 92 were labeled secret and another 67 were confidential, according to a Department of Justice affidavit.
Some of the files were so extremely restricted that FBI counterintelligence personnel and DOJ attorneys were not authorized to view them.
The entire trove of documents was now off limits to the government after US District Judge Aileen Cannon allowed Trump’s request for a third party to review them Monday, ruling that some of them were medical or tax-related.
The DOJ had argued the allowance from the Trump-appointed judge was redundant and would slow the case. The feds and Trump’s team were to agree on a list of special master candidates by Friday.
Cannon did allow for the continuation of a classification review and national security risk assessment.
A Trump spokesperson could not immediately be reached by The Post.