FBI agents were searching for classified documents concerning nuclear weapons when feds raided former President Donald Trump’s Florida mansion, a report said Thursday.
People familiar with the investigation told The Washington Post that the sensitive documents were among the items pursued by the FBI in Monday’s raid.
Both the bureau and the Justice Department have faced mounting pressure to release more information since the raid at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
The unnamed sources didn’t provide more details about the specific information sought in the raid. They also did not disclose whether the documents pertained to weapons from the US or another country.
It was also unclear on Thursday night whether the classified documents were discovered by agents in the raid.
The latest reported revelation comes after Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday he “personally approved” the search warrant that led to the unprecedented raid of Trump’s home.
He also said the Justice Department would request a federal judge unseal copies of the warrant. A judge told the Justice Department to let the court know by 3 p.m. Friday if Trump objected to the public disclosure.
An ex-Justice Department official told the Washington Post that top-secret intel like nuclear information would cause law enforcement to quickly want to recover any sensitive documents that could harm US security.
“If that is true, it would suggest that material residing unlawfully at Mar-a-Lago may have been classified at the highest classification level,” said David Laufman, the former head of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section.
“If the FBI and the Department of Justice believed there were top secret materials still at Mar-a-Lago, that would lend itself to greater ‘hair-on-fire’ motivation to recover that material as quickly as possible,” he said.
The same day Garland defended the feds against relentless criticism of the raid, an armed man attempted to storm an FBI office in Cincinnati before he fled.
The suspect, identified as Ricky Shiffer, called for violence against the feds following the search at Trump’s home, according to reports. Shiffer was ultimately shot dead by police Thursday hours after the attempted breach.