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Trump held over 300 classified documents after leaving office: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo taken on July 08, 2022, former US President Donald Trump takes the stage at a rally endorsing Republican candidates Adam Laxalt and Joe Lombardo (not pictured) in Las Vegas. (Photo by AFP)

Former US President Trump had more than 300 classified documents in his possession after leaving office, which were retrieved by the National Archives in January, a damning new report has revealed.

The New York Times in a report on Monday revealed that the initial batch of documents recovered by the National Archives, an agency charged with the preservation and documentation of government records, from Trump in January included over 150 marked as classified.

The 15 boxes turned over to the Archives in January included the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency documents spanning a variety of topics of national security interest, the report stated.

The NYT cited multiple sources briefed on the matter as saying that the massive number of documents alerted the US Justice Department and helped trigger the criminal investigation into the former president that led to the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago property earlier this month.

According to the report, another set of documents was given to the Justice Department in June by Trump’s aides, while the remaining was seized in the FBI search of the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida earlier this month.

In total, over 300 documents with classified markings were retrieved by the government, the report said.

The Justice Department investigation is still underway, “suggesting that officials are not certain whether they have recovered all the presidential records that Trump took with him from the White House”, the NYT reported.

The Times said investigators are seeking additional surveillance footage from the club for the weeks leading up to the August 8 search to find how the documents were being handled by Trump and his staff.

Trump’s allies insist that he had declassified the material, but no documentation has come to light confirming the claims.

Three days after the FBI raid, a report in The Washington Post said that some of the documents seized by the FBI agents were related to nuclear weapons.

According to the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago, Trump is under criminal investigation for possible violations of the Espionage Act and additional statutes relating to obstruction of justice and destroying federal government records.

Last week, Trump accused the top domestic spy agency of a “sneak attack” raid on his Florida home, saying the country was ‘in a very dangerous position’.

In an interview with Fox News a week after the FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and seized classified documents, Trump said the entire country was "angry" about it.

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