Among the items the FBI retrieved from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort this month were 90 empty folders marked classified or for return to the White House staff secretary or a military aide, according to a detailed inventory of items seized from the property made public on Friday.
The inventory – unsealed by a federal judge overseeing the former president’s request to get a so-called special master to determine what materials the justice department can use in its investigation – provided the fullest picture to date of what Trump had retained.
In itemizing the contents of boxes of seized materials, the inventory put together by the justice department showed the FBI retrieved 71 empty folders from Trump’s office and 19 empty folders from a storage room when agents executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.
The empty folders carried one of two designations, according to the inventory: some files had “Classified” banners, while other files were labeled “Return to Staff Secretary/Military Aide”, appearing to indicate that highly sensitive documents were not returned as designated.
Though the exact circumstances behind the empty folders were not clear, the startling discovery raised for the first time the prospect that some of the government’s most closely guarded secrets could remain unaccounted for, even after the FBI went through Mar-a-Lago and retrieved materials from the property. [Continue reading…]