Republicans seek FBI justification for Trump raid

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It also said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act violations…reports Asian Lite News

Republicans are now seeking the release of an Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) affidavit showing the justification for its seizure of documents at former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

The search warrant — made public on Friday, local time, after the unprecedented search last Monday — allowed investigators to discover that Trump had 11 sets of classified documents at his home, according to a Reuters report.

It also said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had probable cause to conduct the search based on possible Espionage Act violations.

The Republicans have called for the disclosure of more detailed information that persuaded a federal judge to issue the search warrant, which may show sources of information and details about the nature of the documents and other classified information.

The unsealing of such affidavits is highly unusual, it was reported.

“I think a releasing [of] the affidavit would help, at least that would confirm that there was justification for this raid,” Republican Senator Mike Rounds told NBC’s “Meet the Press”.

Meanwhile, the documents taken away from Trump’s home by federal agents are part of a potentially criminal violation of the Espionage Act and a few other laws.

They included four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents, according to an inventory of items seized by FBI agents.

Some of these documents were marked “classified/TS/SCI” documents “shorthand” for “top secret/sensitive compartmented information”.

Among them was also a document about France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

The documents, which were listed in a “Receipt of Property” handed over to Trump’s lawyers by the FBI, did not give details contained in them.

One set was titled, “Various classified/TS/SCI documents”. Another went with “Miscellanous (Miscellaneous spelt wrong) Top Secret Documents”. And the one on Macron simply said, “Info re: President of France.”

The warrant sanctioning the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday specified three potential violations of federal law, which could together end in a punishment of years in jail and fine if the accused is found guilty.

They are federal laws 18 USC 2071 (Concealment, removal or mutilation), 18 USC 793 (Gathering, transmitting or losing defence information), and 18 USC 1519 (Destruction, alteration or falsification of records in Federal investigations). The second law, 18 USC 793, is part of the Espionage Act, but it does not pertain specifically to the act of spying.

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