Trump Had Human, Signals, and FISA Intelligence in an Insecure Room at Mar-a-Lago for a Year

Here’s the affidavit used to search the home and resort of the 45th President of the United States for classified documents he refused to return. My live tweet is here. I’ll do running updates in this thread. Here’s my earlier post on what the affidavit would include which accurately predicated a great deal of what was in here.

The investigation

The affidavit spends three paragraphs describing how, after NARA made a referral on February 9, 2022, the FBI opened an investigation to learn:

  • How classified documents were removed from the White House
  • Whether the storage facilities at Mar-a-Lago were suitable for storing classified materials
  • Whether there were anymore classified documents at Mar-a-Lago or elsewhere
  • Who had removed and retained the documents in unauthorized spaces

In a probable cause paragraph, it explains that there were 15 boxes with classified information at Mar-a-Lago and there was probable cause to believe there were more.

There’s a redacted paragraph that may describe the basis for suspecting obstruction. A later sentence in the probable cause paragraph describes that there likely will be evidence of obstruction at MAL.

The affidavit explains that this is an investigation into (among other things) 18 USC 793e — which I was among the first people to predict. This means that DOJ maintains that Trump was not authorized to have these documents.

Statutory authorities

As I predicted, there is a series of paragraphs that lay out the statutory authorities implicated. This tells us how sensitive the documents in question are.

It does not list the Atomic Energy Act.

It does have paragraphs defining:

  • 18 USC 793(e), the Espionage Act
  • EO 13526, the Executive Order governing classified information
  • Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret classifications
  • Secure Compartmented Information
  • Special Intelligence, which is SIGINT
  • HCS, which refers to clandestine human spying
  •  FISA
  • NOFORN, material not permissible to share with foreign governments
  • Originator Controlled, meaning whoever created controls it
  • Need to know
  • 32 CFR Parts 2001 and 2003 which describes the Storage requirements for classified information
  • 18 USC 1519, obstruction
  • 18 USC 2071, willfully removing information
  • 44 USC 2201, the Presidential Records Act
  • 44 USC 3301(a), the Federal Records Act

NARA Referral

Two paragraphs describe the NARA referral.

First, it describes the February 9, 2022 message to DOJ describing how Trump had “classified records [that were] unfoldered,” meaning their protective cover sheets were gone, “intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.

Former Watergate prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega described that this sounds like an old white collar crime technique.

There’s also a description, first, of the notice NARA gave to Carolyn Maloney as the Chair of the House Oversight Committee, and Trump’s response. It also included Trump’s statement in response falsely claiming he was raided.

Redacted pack-up description

There are four paragraphs that appear before the description of Trump’s move out of the White House. Those must include details about what was known of his pack-up.

Boxes containing documents were transported from the White House to Mar-a-Lago

There are eight paragraphs that start with a description of how he moved at least two trucks of stuff to Mar-a-Lago.

It’s unclear what the rest of this section describes (though it may include witness testimony about how things were unpacked). It also seems to quote from correspondence.

Provision of the fifteen boxes to NARA

Nine paragraphs (and one footnote) describe the effort to retrieve the boxes. It describes the effort lasting from May 6, 2021 to “approximately late December 2021,” when NARA was informed there were 12 — not 15 — boxes ready to be retrieved.

That section ends with a redaction, possibly a Trump Text.

The FIFTEEN BOXES provided to NARA contain classified information

What may be just two paragraphs describes what was found in the original 15 boxes: 184 documents bearing classification marks, including:

  • 67 Confidential documents
  • 92 Secret documents
  • 25 Top Secret documents
  • Others marked HCS, FISA, ORCON, NOFORN, and SI
  • Some documents with Trump’s handwritten notes

Two redacted documents

Paragraphs 49 and 50 are a separate section. They may describe evidence of obstruction.

A description of Trump’s refusal to return materials [redacted title]

Paragraphs 51 through 61 describe DOJ’s efforts to get Trump to return the rest. Most are redacted. The unredacted passages include:

  • A May 25 letter from Evan Corcoran purporting to lay out “principles” covering the the President’s authority to declassify, asking NARA to share that letter with “any judicial officer who is asked to rule on any motion pertaining to this investigation.”
  • A link to the Kash Patel post where he claimed Trump had declassified documents. (I accurately predicted these were related.)
  • A description of the June 8 letter from Jay Bratt to Corcoran, informing him that the facilities were not authorized for classified information.

A footnote to the paragraph leading into that section distinguishes NDI from classified information. Clearly, Trump was claiming he had declassified everything, and DOJ was saying that didn’t matter.

Seven redacted paragraphs

This may explain the declaration Christina Bobb signed and reason DOJ believed it was false.

There is probable cause to believe that documents containing classified NDI and Presidential Records remain at the premises

Seven paragraphs in this section are classified.

The eighth explains that the classified documents are likely to be in the STORAGE ROOM, FPOTUS’ residential suite (which is called Pine Hall), and the “45 Office.”

A mostly redacted paragraph describes where this stuff has been stored. After a redaction, it explains that the club is closed for the summer, and explains that rooms that are not currently occupied may be searched.


This is summary asking for proof of all three crimes.


This is a standard sealing paragraph.

Search procedures for handling potential attorney-client privileged information

Four paragraphs describe that a taint team will conduct the search of Trump’s office. If it finds stuff that is privileged that DOJ wants to search, it provides three further ways to get it:

  • An ex-parte determination of whether they are privileged
  • Simple deferral of accessing the information
  • Cooperation with Trump

This must be the stuff on the SSA receipt.

Update: Corrected something I thought was a heading but which was not.

183 replies
  1. newbroom says:

    Chuck Fraud, nbc news, is ALREADY (12:45 p.m. 8-26) taking a very negative stance against the DOJ already! Complaining that the DOJ could have released this at least a week ago and that the DOJ needs to learn how to communicate to the news industry/murican people.

    • bbleh says:

      Yabbut let’s remember, it was the MSM (along with a few others) who sued DOJ in the first place to get the affidavit released. They’re not disinterested parties here.

      And I’m gonna need some serious convincing to believe anything except that their actions have little or nothing to do with the public interest — however much they claim piously that they do — and everything to do with getting hold of juicy eyeball-and-click-bait.

      He is a circus clown “reporting” on the circus, nothing more.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      If you mean Chuck “Toddler” Todd, please say so. (See how easy that is to do?)

      Readers are trying to assimilate a great deal of information in a short span of time, and there appear to be many new readers who are still learning the ins and outs of this website.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I usually go with Chuckles myself for the way he giggles like a middle-schooler when someone just got banished to the principal’s office without paying any consideration regarding why that happened. So, axe murder = snotty comment in his view.

        Since we have the released affidavit, could the lawyers update us on how potential prosecutions of the principal search target (Individual-1) or affiliated minions (like Bobb) could be affected?

      • DC says:

        Why even mention those scumbags at all? They are obsolete. No one even believes a word of it except the pathetic fox news sheeple- and they really don’t matter anymore. Frankly, none of the talk matters anymore.
        Garland does not GAF. Got it? Good.

        • timbo says:

          “they really don’t matter anymore” Wow, you certainly seem to have written off a large segment of potential seditionist and insurrections right there for some odd reason…care to elucidate why “they don’t really matter anymore”?

    • Tim L. says:

      Given the gravity and significance of the docs, the DOJ’s continued supplicating deference to 45 over this long 2-year period is itself a scandal. How do you defend a case for the sensitivity of the docs when you left them in his hands all this time? It’s as if it was a sting operation.

      • Clare Kelly says:

        “The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.” (The Affidavit)

        “Trump search affidavit reveals potential for ‘evidence of obstruction’ at Mar-a-Lago – live” (The Guardian)

        Imho, that is the “scandal”.

      • ScottMI says:

        Check the affidavit’s timeline again. DOJ didn’t get a referral from NARA until Feb 2022, did a review of the contents of the FIFTEEN BOXES in mid-May, and engaged directly with the Trump team immediately thereafter (the June 8 letter from DOJ states “[a]s I previously indicated,” which signals that there had already been communications prior to this point). The full extent of the known timeline is in a prior post:

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Not. Complex investigations are sophisticated and time-consuming. And Trump is correct: there is no precedent to work from, because no president before Trump so abused his office, and professional and legal responsibilities.

        Trump is not good at many things, but distracting and hiding what he does are among them. It’s been one of his lifelong obsessions. Obtaining physical evidence and witness testimony for his crimes has bedeviled every prior attempted prosecution.

        Part of the strategy here was to give Trump sufficient room, once specific problems were identified, to fix them himself. That documents the absence of an abusive or political investigation. He chose not to, and made them worse. And here we are.

        • obsessed says:

          Could it be that DOJ’s ability to move rapidly and efficiently has not kept up with the modern age, making it child’s play for a criminal politician with great lawyers to beat them every time? Isn’t there some way to revamp the procedures to make DOJ more efficient? We know that the long delays between each stage of a legal fight are “how things work” but the problem from the citizen’s point of view is that “thing don’t work” – that criminal politicians are seldom held accountable. DOJ is like a massive banana slug being sliced to ribbons by army ants, or Bill Russell’s Celtics being dismantled by the 2022 Warriors. The crooks have gotten faster and smarter and the cops haven’t kept up. Why does it have to take months between each stage of a legal battle?

        • Rayne says:

          Part of the problem is education. Far too many Americans have no understanding how investigations and prosecutions work, let alone complex cases where national security is involved. This should be addressed long before making any changes to the system merely for the sake of speed and expediency. Trump and his co-conspirators and legal assistance have relied on the public’s ignorance to bolster their foot dragging response to NARA and DOJ (and not just in this investigation).

          Another major problem is the public’s perception that investigations and prosecutions should be like shopping for car insurance and filing an accident claim. We have grown incredibly spoiled by digitization and commodification of consumer tasks. Justice is NOT a consumer task.

          Lastly, another major problem to which you sidle up is disintermediation of criminals’ efforts. You are right now immersed in bullshit shaping your perception, spewed at the speed of light by criminals, and your head is now fucking pwned by them. It’s not that justice is necessarily slow, but that our society has not confronted the ways in which the internet has enabled faster criming (ex. Trump shouting on social media to encourage violence against FBI).

          You’re right now soaking in a stew of ongoing obstruction being waged by criminals to hide their manifold crimes but somehow the justice system is at fault. I haven’t even touched the role criminal co-conspirators in Congress have played to ensure you continue to see justice as a failing proposition (or have we already forgotten “Defund the FBI”?). ~smh~

        • Franktoo says:

          Another part of the problem may be law enforcement’s laudable tradition (rule?) of generally not publicly discussing an investigation until the government has decided whether or not to indict. When they choose not to indict, they often say nothing to protect the privacy of an uncharged target of an investigation. This appears to be an appropriate strategy for dealing with the average American – who would be embarrassed and potentially harmed if their employer or neighbors knew the FBI had raided their house because they had failed to respond to requests to return and/or properly secure national defense information and material subpoenaed for a grand jury investigation. The FBI said nothing publicly about the raid and the agents involved reported were causally dressed so any news reports could be denied.

          In the case of Trump (and some other situations), this tradition is a handicap for law enforcement because it does not allow the DoJ to rapidly respond to public allegations of misconduct from the person being investigated. Given that Trump long ago bragged that he could shoot someone in public on 5th Ave and not lose any supporters, Trump feels he has a lot to gain and little to lose by publicizing the FBI raid, and making numerous allegation that he is being persecuted by the Deep State for political reasons. Indeed, support for Trump among Republicans reportedly has increased 10% since the raid, and all talk of DeSantis running against Trump in 2024 has ended. (FWIW, while DeSantis would likely to be a stronger candidate in the 2024 general election, that doesn’t mean it will make sense from him to take the risk of challenging Trump for the nomination and hoping the vengeful Trump will support him in November.) AG Garland may have agonized for two weeks before deciding to conduct the search because he knew it would increase Trump’s support.

        • Nick Caraway says:

          Yes, this. If Trump ever comes before an impartial jury, DOJ will show that it had bent over backwards to treat Trump with more courtesy than anyone else will ever get.

          And hopefully such an objective, fair-minded proceeding might then redound to the greater good. Even if the right wing noise machine continued to cry foul.

          Not that I like the idea of the docs having been stored in an insecure setting for so long, but, everything is a trade-off.

      • Troutwaxer says:

        It’s important to remember that there is more to intelligence than highly-publicized trials. My theory is that when Biden got into office he very quietly ordered various three-letter agencies to form a working group meant to determine whether Trump was in fact a Russian puppet (and if not, whose puppet he was) and that information has been gathered and confirmed and is now being acted upon.

        • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

          Total nonsense.

          Biden already has access to all the federal investigations into Trump already at his fingertips. He doesn’t need a ‘working group’. Above that, it is not the place for a POTUS to get involved in the workings of the DoJ and Biden is a very institutional President.

          I hear the comment about the newbies here (I am one after all) but all this hypothesizing about secret cabals of POTUS squads and the like is the stuff of online phantasmagoria ans is one of the things I’m looking to stay away from.

        • Troutwaxer says:

          The problem with your theory is this: Trump (mainly via Bill Barr, but others as well) worked very hard to end any counterintelligence investigations that might involve himself. This included firings, transfers and major changes to the bureaucracy at the very least. So once Biden became president he would have to reconstitute what Barr (and others) destroyed, and I don’t doubt it was one of his first priorities.

          I’d also expect that our current crop of counter-intelligence people are taking back-bearings on other issues where Trump or one of his people interfered and following up those leads as well. I don’t think it takes a great deal of intelligence to know that there will be a paper-trail and that trail can be followed.

  2. Fran of the North says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see the GQP masters of spin start working this affidavit. Be careful for what you ask.

  3. BruceF says:

    Tuned in to Fox for ten minutes (cannot last any longer). They question “unprecedented raid” on MAL while failing to point out it is unprecedented to find that a former President removed highly confidential documents locations. Some false equivalency talk concerning HRC.

    Also seem to blame MAL Secret Service for failure to secure documents. Never question, or connect TFG’s to what has transpired!

    • timbo says:

      Did they also fail to mention that the PRA means these documents are the USG’s and NARA’s and not Twitler’s personal property? A heavy lift I know but…

  4. greenbird says:

    i broke my promise to myself to stay out of the way until at least after 8pm.
    commenter on thread pulled me in but docket was ‘in progress’ so i just wasted my time.
    does wayback auto-capture my stuff? well, now is now and i outta go read a book.

  5. Tom-1812 says:

    Just as Donald Trump became “Individual-1”, so Mar-a-Lago is now “TARGET PREMISES”.

    Trump will probably try to make money out of this by charging extra admission to see the notorious basement storage room . “At last it can be Revealed! The Wonder of the Ages! You’ll be Amazed! Do you Dare to Gaze upon President Donald J. Trump’s Magical Mystery Cave of Secrets? Feast Your Eyes! Glut your Soul!” Cash only, please.

      • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

        But worked REALLY well for P.T. Barnum and there’s a reason that the Donald is likened to him.

        There’s a sucker born every minute.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      He is monetizing this as fast as he can. After a long dormancy, Trump emails and texts are snowing my cell phone again. Their topline messages employ crude language intended to instill guilt in you, his “Friend,” while inspiring a sense of urgency. Like God, Trump knows when you’ve “helped” and, more importantly, when you’re dithering. “It will be too late!”

      He knows his marks.

      • RJames says:

        I wonder if all this grift has hurt the bottom line at some of the mega-churches. They have got to be at least partially drawing from the same well.

        • pH unbalanced says:

          Good question. There has definitely been reporting that it has negatively impacted fundraising by Republican candidates this cycle.

  6. sleutherone says:

    There is a statement (page 22) indicating there was no apparent suitable location for storage of confidential information. If there was no area suitable in June, what is the likelihood there was a suitable are throughout the presidency? IMO not much. As Trump called the are his White House and spent a lot of time there, I don’t see how he could avoid having documents there at some point.

    • Just Some Guy says:

      From the unsealed portions of the affidavit:

      “77. Based upon this investigation, I believe that the STORAGE ROOM, FPOTUS’s
      residential suite, Pine Hall, the “45 Office,” and other spaces within the PREMISES are not
      cunently authorized locations for the storage of classified information or NDI. Similarly, based
      upon this investigation, I do not believe that any spaces within the PREMISES have been
      authorized for the storage of classified information at least since the end of FPOTUS ‘s
      Presidential Administration on January 20, 2021.”

      That last sentence implies that there were “authorized areas” at Mar-a-Lago during the Trump administration, but of course that doesn’t matter anyway since the entirety of this search and affidavit is related to materials brought to Mar-a-Lago “on or around January 20, 2021.”

      • Peterr says:

        In paragraph 61, the application quotes from the DOJ email to Trump’s counsel:

        As I previously indicated to you, Mar-a-Lago does not include a secure location authorized for the storage of classified information. As such, it appears that since the time classified documents were removed from the secure facilities at the White House and moved to Mar-a-Lago on or around January 20, 2021, they have not been handled in an approp1iate manner or stored in an appropriate location. Accordingly, we ask that the room at Mar-a-Lago where the documents had been stored be secured and that all of the boxes that were moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago (along with any other items in that room) be preserved in that room in their current condition until farther notice.

        While the Trump lawyer acknowledged receiving this email, there was no promise to comply . . . and as the quote above from paragraph 77, the DOJ did not believe Trump did comply with their request to put everything in that one storage room and leave it all alone otherwise.

        And as the search itself proved, documents were found in various locations, not simply in the storage room.

        • Peterr says:

          See also paragraph 78, where (after some redacted discussion) the DOJ says “Accordingly, this affidavit seeks authorization to search the “45 Office” and all storage rooms and any other rooms or locations where boxes or records may be stored within the PREMISES, as further described in Attachment A.”

          Shorter DOJ to judge: “We asked them to handle these things properly, and have learned they have not done so, so we now ask you for permission to rectify the situation.”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          No indication something as inadequate as a padlock on a basement room was asked for. But no competent lawyer would have needed tea leaves to read where this was going, or to know that Trump had no intention of responding adequately to rectify the situation.

      • bmaz says:

        Not positive, but my understanding is that there was a temporary SCIF installed sometime during the “Presidency”, but was dismantled after he was out of office.

        • Frank Probst says:

          I’ve read this, too. It’s hard for me to imagine that they did NOT have a SCIF at Mar-a-Lago while Trump was President, given how much time he spent there and the likelihood that he would need a SCIF on short notice at various points in his Presidency.

        • Carole says:

          According to the Palm Beach Post, a SCIF was first revealed to be at MAL in Feb 2017.

          “Ironically, the existence of the SCIF at the president’s private club in Palm Beach was first revealed in a White House press briefing on February 14, 2017, to rebut criticism Trump himself had put sensitive discussions at risk.

          That was days after Trump held an impromptu security gathering in a Mar-a-Lago dining area with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and their aides moments after a North Korea missile test.

          Palm Beach Post, 11/5/19. Here’s the link, but I can’t find a way to gift it.

        • gmoke says:

          My understanding is that the requirements for the rooms where such high clearance documents are stored is extremely detailed and if the space is a quarter inch out of spec, there are consequences. A storeroom in Mar a Lago with an extra padlock on it is probably not within spec.

        • bbleh says:

          I believe it also has to be AUTHORIZED to store the materials, in addition to meeting all the physical specifications. And I would not be at all surprised if the authorization for a SCIF facility at MAL, if indeed one remained, would have been withdrawn at the end of his term, since there would be no need for one.

        • Yirkville Kangaroo says:


          It would have ceased to be a SCIF at precisely 12:01 P.M. on January 20, 2021.

        • blueedredcounty says:

          I posted this more fully on one of Marcy’s earlier posts about the raid, but I highly doubt there was a single change done to install a SCIF anywhere on the premises.

          Given that Air Force One is the airborne command post for our entire military, it is inherently a SCIF. Given a choice of having Mar-a-Lago touched (although he would have delighted at spending a bundle of our money for it) or doing a brief jaunt over to Air Force One, I’d wager big bucks he went out to the plane for it.

    • DC says:

      He removed documents from the most secure vaults which are never supposed to leave those vaults, period- let alone be trucked down to his cathouse in FL. There is no excuse at all. This is treason of the worst degree.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    What’s missing from whinges by the MSM that this document could have been disseminated weeks ago is any notion of process. Much of the MSM is also conflicted by wanting information to sell, but not wanting it to be too hard for a sixth grader to assimilate, which dictates harmful, superficial coverage.

    This is just scratching the surface, for example, but these documents are rarely revealed before charging decisions are made. Disputes about why this should be an exception are time consuming.

    The review process required to block information that would be useful to possible defendants is sophisticated. Rather like Krelminology, part of it might be straightforward, but part of it would be informed guessing, because the information is so interrelated. Possible defendants already know some of this information, which means they might be able to extrapolate where an investigation is going from seemingly harmless data. Investigators have to assume such connections will be made, even if not by TFG or his inept counsel.

    As usual, Chuck Todd is full of himself, but not much else.

    • P J Evans says:

      The number of people who seem to think this means the former guy should be arrested *right now* if not sooner is – larger than it should be.

      • zirc says:

        Maybe. But if I took one document home with me, I’d be out of job, and, depending on the document, hoping a lawyer could keep me out of jail. And the stuff I see is nowhere near the sensitivity of the stuff he was keeping.


      • DC says:

        He will be arrested soon. Are you daft of disingenuous?

        [Ad hominems against community members aren’t acceptable here. /~Rayne]

    • Bruce Olsen says:

      By not calling out these attacks MSM is supporting Trump. Full stop.
      Not so different from the habit of dismissing his communications as buffoonery when they are intended to incite attacks.

  8. cmarlowe says:

    With respect to compromising the investigation and possible indictment, is there anything specifically released that Trump and counsel don’t already know? Specificity aside, is there anything in the revealed items that taken in their entirety can help Trump? NAL, just wondering.

    • bmaz says:

      There is no way to know yet! And that is why affidavits never see the light of day until the case(s) are charged.

      • DC says:

        You’re a broken record looping a crying child. Please, enough

        [Not every comment needs a reply. Hassling moderators and contributors of which bmaz is one isn’t going to fly here. I can see now you’ve needed multiple cautions in this one thread and you’ve roughly 20 comments under your belt so far. Take a move to the shade until you figure out how this community works. /~Rayne]

      • Rwood says:

        You pointed that out previously, and since he hasn’t is it somewhat safe to assume that he is now simply executing one of several contingency plans he and the DOJ have in place? They obviously game-planned this and Trump’s response several times before executing the search.

        If so, this doc is exactly what Garland wanted. What can we make of that?

        To the lawyers here: What would you expect Garland to do next?

        IANAL, but if the DOJ has proof that docs left MAL and with who, would we expect more search warrants to be executed in the near future? I would think they would have happened all at the same time to prevent them being destroyed.

        • Reader 21 says:

          Respectfully- what are you talking about? You cite bmaz, but he’s explicitly pointed out more than once that there’s a good reason “why affidavits never see the light of day until the case(s) are charged.” So why on earth would Garland have a contingency plan for that – who could have guessed the judge would make some boneheaded, chiickenshit call like this?

          Further, how do you surmise Garland has what he wanted – OOJ argued strenuously against releasing this, including on national security grounds – so your claim is counterfactual.

          As to what he’ll do next, who knows – the first thing I’d imagine is an extensive counterintelligence scrub, to try and assess the damage. I have no idea if criminal charges are in the offing, but I know DOJ overall historically is risk averse in terms of bringing cases they might lose. I certainly don’t see how exposing this affidavit for the world and our nation’s sworn enemies to pore over makes that task any easier. And potentially puts lives (“sources”) in jeopardy, as pressure ramps to unredact more or leaks are made to nefarious actors.

        • Rwood says:

          First, I ask because this is outside my scope and I’m looking for answers.

          Second, I agree 100% that this was the wrong thing for the judge to do.

          However, I AM giving credit to Garland for being THAT SMART and yes, predicting the possibility of a “boneheaded, chickenshit” judge. I think he game-planned every possible scenario, including this one, and had a redacted document prepared for just such an occurrence. In that preparation he no doubt did his best to predict the outcome and how that might affect his next move.

          Is this chess game playing out exactly as he envisioned? I doubt it. But as Helmuth von Moltke said: “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” So a wise commander creates dozens of contingency plans to cover every possibility they can think of.

          So now Garland finds himself with a bonehead judge. Does this impact his decisions moving forward? I don’t know, so I ask.

          This is the best place I know to do so.

        • timbo says:

          Meh. The magistrate judge is not where this is headed so I doubt Garland is that concerned about Reinhardt at all in much of this. Reinhardt is just a judicial functionary and not really part of whatever this will become if legal proceedings move past this initial search warrant…which the affidavit certainly indicates might well be happening at some point.

          That does bring up an interesting point though. What happens if the FBI/DOJ investigators need to conduct another search at MAL or other places for some of these documents. It only goes to Reinhardt on this one warrant application, right? If there’s another one, it’ll draw a semi-random magistrate in whatever jurisdiction(s) any new warrant(s) are sought, correct?

        • Reader 21 says:

          Exactly! Merrick Garland is very good at reading judges (TIL he was never overturned in all his years on the bench on appeal – despite the makeup of the SCt!) – but even he’s not that good.

          The judge overturned precedent and the unwritten rule re affidavits due to the heretofore ‘well we have a really effective criminal whose prone to violence here’, we need to cast the rules aside’, rule, apparently.

        • timbo says:

          It’s not an “unwritten rule”. It’s just maybe not a law in the traditional sense. Courts have rules that are not necessarily laws. Many of those rules certainly are written down, both in case rulings and in general instruction documents, etc.

        • bmaz says:

          Nooo, the foundation is very much a written rule! It is Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. And yes, there very much is precedent for keeping such material sealed and secret. Pretty much all precedent militates in favor of just that.

        • Steve in MA says:

          So the fact that the judge overruled the court’s own rules begs the questions: why would he potentially jeopardize a case, and why would he set a new, unwarranted precedent that could prove to have serious negative consequences in the future? Is he just a fool? Is he somehow thinking this would help Trump (who appointed him)? Is he somehow pandering to the media who filed the suit? If the last one, why would he do that?

          OK, probably we don’t know, but he does appear to be a weak judge at best.

        • timbo says:

          The judge: “If you’re going to obstruct, here’s some tips for you potential defendants out there (with this here partially redacted affidavit)… Sooo…maybe don’t do this stuff that you’ve apparently been doing? Possibly get your story straight? This here is about serious TS/SCI stuff too so maybe stop acting like the know-nothing lawyers you got mouthing off about stuff that has little legal relevance to the case at hand is doing you a lot of favors as this things moves forward… And whatever you do, don’t trust your kids except as far they are trying to get you better legal representation, okay!”

      • DC says:

        I’ve come to realize, if you think something is ‘not wrong’, it definitely is… wrong

        [Oh, you went one too far. Tsk. /~Rayne]

      • DrDoom says:

        Garland both could have AND knew what is sacrificed by not doing so. Which leads to the question, why didn’t Garland fight release of the affidavit? The obvious answer is that he wanted some of the released information to be out in public view. I know from your previous comments that you believe there is nothing of sufficient value to be gained by unsealing even a heavily redacted affidavit. But I believe that you also have sufficient respect for Garland’s abilities to recognize the possibility that his fuller knowledge of the case may have steered him toward a strategic choice to allow the unsealing to happen.

    • DC says:

      What farce are you speaking of? The only farce is trump, his horrid anti-American supporters, and the clueless who criticize Garland for no reason.

  9. Peterr says:

    From the application:

    47. From May 16-18, 2022, FBI agents conducted a preliminary review of the FIFTEEN BOXES provided to NARA and identified documents with classification markings in fourteen of the FIFTEEN BOXES. A preliminary triage of the documents with classification markings revealed the following approximate numbers: 184 unique documents bearing classification markings, including 67 documents marked as CONFIDENTIAL, 92 documents marked as SECRET, and 25 documents marked as TOP SECRET. Further, the FBI agents observed markings reflecting the following compartments/dissemination controls: HCS, FISA, ORCON, NOFORN, and SI. Based on my training and experience, I know that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI. Several of the documents also contained what appears to be FPOTUS ‘s handwritten notes.

    That last sentence is a biggie, especially if the notes can be proven to post-date 1/20/21. If they predate Trump’s departure from the WH, it makes these documents a presidential record that must be retained by NARA. If the notes follow Trump’s departure, it shows that Trump handled these documents while they were in Mar-a-Lago, and that he cannot claim that he didn’t know what was there.

    And of course, the actual content of the handwritten notes could create other problems for Trump. For example, a hypothetical note like this would be particularly problematic: “Call Vlad on Sept 1 to laugh at how porous his security is. Maybe set up a video call, so I can see his face when I read his own words back to him.”

    • cmarlowe says:

      >> If the notes follow Trump’s departure, it shows that Trump handled these documents while they were in Mar-a-Lago, and that he cannot claim that he didn’t know what was there.

      Also, since he no longer had a clearance, he should not have been handling them at all, no?

      • bmaz says:

        Trump NEVER had a security clearance, and would never qualify for one. He had inherent authority by being POTUS. And had none the second Biden was sworn in.

        • timbo says:

          We’re certainly getting into a close shaving area of Constitutional Article II stuff here. And beyond the EP stuff too. The easy and obvious way out is to just assume that Citizen Trump is back to being equal under the law with all the rest of us schmoes… Yeah, so hopefully a majority of the justices currently at SCOTUS are still interested in having ex-Presidents just return to being average schmoes?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Trump famously reads little and understands less. He has an attention span that would turn a high school guidance counselor blue. So, if Trump was reading something – and wrote notes in Sharpie on it – it’s because one or more people helping him went through it and highlighted what he should look at. It means they went through more than one document to identify what Trump might consider valuable.

        If any of that was done after Trump left office and after any authorization to access these documents lapsed or was withdrawn, it would be illegal and a conspiracy. Any denial or hiding of that would quickly get into obstruction territory.

        Apart from nailing down the chapter and verse on acts that would constitute crimes, investigators have to choose which ones they can prosecute, because some of this stuff might be too sensitive to prosecute in open court.

        • Reader 21 says:

          Yep–apparently some of this stuff is *so* sensitive DOJ and the FBI were loathe to even list it in a table of contents – for fear the name or title alone would expose ‘some of our nation’s most closely guarded secrets” per WAPO. And, expose sources [people] and methods.

          So, points well taken!

  10. Ddub says:

    Is this the largest intel compromise in US history?
    I keep returning to the actual theft. Aren’t the USSS are co-conspirators now?

    • Peterr says:

      There is nothing here that makes the USSS co-conspirators. While they are often in the room with their protectees, they do not have eyes on them 24/7.

      For instance, if Trump took documents to his bedroom in the residence at the WH to read before bed, the USSS agents on duty would wish him a good night and take up their security posts in the hallways and elsewhere in the residence. They don’t take a seat in the bedroom to watch him read and sleep. At that point, Trump could have put these documents in one of his “Ship to Mar-a-Lago” boxes, and no one would have been the wiser.

      • jeco says:

        What if he took pics with his cell and sent to Boris & Natasha, Jared to sell to Saudies for $2B loan etc

        • Peterr says:

          That hypothetical would implicate him, but not the USSS.

          There is nothing in the unredacted application that suggests that anyone in the USSS is implicated here.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Perhaps it was changed, but the USSS’s area of responsibility includes POTUS / VPOTUS protection and the currency. I don’t think it includes managing SCIFs or classified documents outside of the football that goes with POTUS.

        • timbo says:

          However, it must be the case that USSS detailed to WH and POTUS and ex-POTUS have some knowledge of what compartmentalized documents and records are and how to handle that appropriately if they run across such in the course of their security duties, correct?

    • cmarlowe says:

      >> Is this the largest intel compromise in US history?

      That would depend on whether adversaries actually got access to the information. Illegal retention and improper storage does not by itself mean that this happened. I don’t think we are going to find that out, certainly not in any detail.

    • Willis Warren says:

      I wouldn’t want to be the guy who found all those records and put them away for him to steal

    • Ddub says:

      Only partly facetious, 4 years of TFG was the most damaging to US IC, classified info etc., especially if it could be used to turn a buck.
      When Trump finally at last left office after his cabinet considered the 25th amendment in January 2020, no search, no! Even though everybody and their uncle knew the dude was going to take anything not nailed down.
      The black comedy aspect for me (of many other of course) is watching Merrick and the FBIs translate his insane actions into concrete legal jeopardy.
      Now that is art.

    • BobCon says:

      There’s no way right now to compare importance, but in terms of volume Jonathan Pollard’s theft was possibly much more material.

  11. Rwood says:

    The O word caught my eye.

    “There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the PREMISES.”

    • bmaz says:

      Eh, of course that is in there. The affidavit has to support the search for the crimes specified. Nothing notable about that at all.

  12. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    IMHO, the DOJ properly found an appropriate balance between those proper concerns about revealing sources & methods versus the public’s need for an appropriate level of transparency regarding an extraordinary and unprecedented event in American history.

    • bmaz says:

      Searches and seizures of private citizens occur every hour of every day. There is NO “proper balance” There is NO “public interest”. That is all just a load of shit.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        EW suggests an easy way to see some of these documents is during prosecution, after a CIPA review.

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      Even the judge didn’t cite anything about ‘public knowledge’.

      The phrases were ‘historical significance’ and least ‘less restrictive alternative’.

  13. pdaly says:

    I see this “18 USC 793(e), the Espionage Act” and keep thinking about how Trump is a disgruntled, former government employee with money issues and, until recently, with continued, unauthorized access to NDI government documents.
    In other words, he is the perfect mark for foreign intelligence operatives–not that he wasn’t a perfect mark even before he left office.

    • Slobobba says:

      Long before he got into office. I default to the simplest understanding, TFG is an opportunist for easy money, and he functioned in office as a useful idiot.

      • Yorkville Kangaroo says:


        He always WAS and his ties to organised crime, especially the Bratva, in NYC were patently obvious to everyone. His businesses were awash with mafia money:

        “In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. Say, in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo, and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
        – Donald Trump Jr.

        The fact that he was not only as dumb as a post when it came to anything he put his HUGE mind to assured the Russians (and others) that the Trump Family Laundry was a fully functioning extension of their own operations. Does anyone seriously believe that the ONLY reason the Donald got into Atlantic City was because of the hotels? But, as always, only someone like The Donald can manage to send not one but TWO casinos broke! That must have pissed off the mob!

        Still, they earned it back when he got himself installed at 1600.

        The more interesting thing is that he has managed to conduct all his criming in full view of everyone. Hence his comment about shooting someone on Fifth Avenue.

        And it continues, today, apace.

  14. L. Eslinger says:

    Given his history, Trump’s recent posts on Truth Social pointing out that the affidavit did not mention “nuclear” (“Nothing mentioned on NUCLEAR..”) indicate that he has eaten, flushed, buried on a golf course, handed off to a creditor, or otherwise mishandled information on nuclear weapons, plans, and/or policy. Additional search warrants may be called for.

    • Fran of the North says:

      I’m not sure that Trump’s statement carries any weight (even beyond his usual lying). There are all sorts of redacted passages about which he has no insight. As usual, he’s grasping threads trying to make the cloth fall apart.

      • L. Eslinger says:

        Sorry – my attempt at humor clearly failed.

        I’d thought that “eaten, flushed, buried on a golf course, handed off to a creditor” was a clue, but was probably too dry.

    • benfdc says:

      First, the affiant expressly says that they are laying out information to establish probable cause to search the premises and seize documents, NOT detailing everything that has been uncovered in the investigation. Thus, the fact that no mention is made in the affidavit of AEA restricted information does NOT mean that DoJ knew nothing about the subject. There could well have been restricted nuclear information in the FIFTEEN BOXES that DoJ opted not to mention.

      Second, even if there was no trace of restricted information in the documents that Trump voluntarily surrendered, that says nothing about what might have been stored in the seized boxes that Trump had been withholding.

      • Rugger9 says:

        I’ve mentioned before that the crime was the retention of docs that belonged to NARA (i.e. all of us Americans), not the level of classification on those docs. Where the classification level would come in is if someone is charged under 18 USC 793 and/or assessing the damage to the USA if/when Individual-1 (and his minions) are sentenced for withholding the docs from NARA.

    • Ichibod Crane says:

      The claim that the horde included “nuclear” documents was from a leak. It is plausible that Trump (or his team) were the source of the leak to lessen the effect of the actual findings. Not that the actual findings aren’t severe enough.

      • Rayne says:

        It may also have been a redirection by forcing focus on one word rather than others or phrases more applicable, ex. ‘Department of Energy’, ‘Atomic Energy Act’, fusion, fissile, precursors, plutonium or uranium, etc.

        We’ve seen redirection work many times before. Like Bush’s typewriter kerning. The dossier’s pee tape. Or the DNC’s ‘single server’. We should be well versed by now in stopping this method of skewing public perception.

        • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

          And, as I’ve said all along, there was never any mention of ‘nuclear’ anything.

          Whether The Donald held any ‘nuclear’ is not the point at all (except to the INTEL community) and its continued use allows him to deflect the gaze and say, “See? I told you I was innocent.”

  15. joel fisher says:

    1) Before release: there probably was/is a mole(s). After release: there is/was a mole(s).
    2) Are you kidding me: national security documents at a fucking wedding venue. And, yet there are people defending it.
    3) Why wouldn’t every country in the world have a spy at MAL?

  16. klynn says:

    Thank you EW and team for pouring through the document.

    I’m still back at the beginning and stuck on:

    “…protect the safety and privacy of a significant number of civilian witnesses” via redactions.

    The gravity of that quote will stay with me.

    • pseudo42 says:

      On Twitter, a thread by Renato Moriotti, which PopeHat retweeted, analyzes the Corcoran letter. I won’t say Moriotti saw much merit, but the letter has some implications.

      Corcoran (in item 4) requested that this letter also be provided along with “any application made in connection with any investigative request concerning this investigation”, meaning that individual-1’s team anticipated the possibility or inevitability of a search.

      Moriotti also points out that Corcoran’s letter does not claim that the FPOTUS had previously declassified documents. The letter merely asserted (under item 1) that as POTUS, individual-1 had the power to declassify, which seems like a nonsequitur.

      My 2 cents about the “merits” of what seems to be the letter’s central legal argument – Corcoran’s point (item 2) that 18 USC 1924(a), Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material, does not expressly forbid an FPOTUS from having personal possession of classified documents… One problem for Corcoran here is that the warrant does not allege violation of that particular statute. The warrant itself cited 18 USC “793, 1519, or 2071”. Still I would not be surprised to hear more red herrings about which laws weren’t broken or are unlikely to be charged.

      • Jockobadger says:

        Didn’t Tom Fitton come along shortly before or shortly after the first tranche was retrieved and advise that “this stuff belongs to you, Mr. President!” The fg and his minions seem to have made a more vigorous effort to hang on to the second batch – perhaps because of Fitton’s “advice?” In any case, I bet the fg’s legal folk weren’t real happy with Tom’s assistance in this affair.

  17. Willis Warren says:

    Trump stole documents that could identify foreign intelligence assets all over the world, and the implication of obstruction suggests he knew what he had and understood the dangers posed to those assets.

    This is a really big deal. Aldrich Ames wasn’t the president, and he set us back decades with China

  18. TimB says:

    The reluctantly returned FIFTEEN BOXES contained very sensitive material in several categories. Sources of evidence that the remaining boxes also contained such material are (entirely? appears so) redacted. Some unreturned boxes have now been searched under the warrant, so whether they contained more sensitive material seems like something we will learn only if there is an indictment. It seems unwise to conjecture that they did not.

    The discussion of obstruction is reduced even further by redactions. I await further discussion on this website of obstruction, with all the amazing powers of emptywheel at sussing out the implications of very limited information, with bated breath. Is it possible that the affidavit’s discussion of apparently false public statements by Kash Patel and by the Save America PAC “on behalf of FPOTUS” are included as examples of obstruction?

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:


      a) Anything to do with keeping the material in the first place and
      b) Anything leading back to J6C; Stone, Manafort, Flynn, militias, election fraud, etc.

  19. Owlmirror says:

    emptywheel tweeted:

    Note: The Statutory Authorities does NOT include the Atomic Energy Act; that’s the section I predicted where we’d find what he’s believed to have stolen. So if he stole nuke docs, they are nuke docs about ANOTHER country, not our own.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but can it really be concluded that Trump absolutely did not have US nuclear secret documents? Didn’t the author of the affidavit have to go by what they knew about the documents and classification markings as seen, rather than any that might be unseen but speculated about?

    Or is the audit trail of such documents sufficiently solid that the relevant authorities relayed to the FBI that all such documents that were presented to the president while in office had been known to have been returned?

    • Yorkville Kangaroo says:

      I know I’ve been banging on about ‘nuclear’ not being mentioned so people should take a radiation shower about it does not mean that there isn’t anything there.

      Likewise, just because THIS particular affadavit does not list the Atomic Energy Act does not mean a further charge iin this respect might not be coming down the ‘pike at The Donald. I’m sure that DHS and the CIA are now all over this and there will have been conferences no doubt with the FBI perhaps leaving this charge off the sheet…for the time being.

  20. omphaloscepsis says:

    Congressional Research Service reports that may provide background —

    Procedures for Declassifying Intelligence of Public Interest
    August 4, 2022

    Presidential Records Management: Preservation and Disposal
    Updated August 9, 2022

    Reference in above report:
    The Presidential Records Act: An Overview
    December 17, 2019

    The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework
    Updated August 12, 2022

    The Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant: A Legal Introduction
    August 23, 2022

  21. WilliamOckham says:

    I’m fairly confident that paragraphs 49 and 50 are NOT a separate section. If you look carefully, you can see that what initially appears to be a redacted section title is actually a redacted quote attached to paragraph 48. I say this because I’ve compared that redaction to the one between paragraph 50 and 51, which very clearly is a section title that is longer than one line.

    The section titles are centered and the redaction after paragraph 50 shows that. The redaction that occurs immediately preceding paragraph 49 is not centered.

    • Peterr says:

      I agree. This section covers the contents of the fifteen boxes, so it might include more detailed information about those documents, such as subject of the docs. The blockquote at the end of paragraph 48 might be a quotation of one of Trump’s notes on a document, as mentioned at the end of paragraph 47. From there, I’m wondering about the structure of the rest of this section. Perhaps it looked something like this . . .

      47 – Description of the classification/compartmentalization levels of the docs

      48 – Without getting into details, this section might describe the subjects (in general terms) of the documents in these boxes, such as something like “These documents include reports from clandestine agents, high-resolution satellite photographs, and other discussions of our intelligence assets aimed at various hostile foreign governments and non-governmental organizations.” The quote that follows might be one of Trump’s handwritten notes, especially if the note indicates that Trump realizes how valuable this classified intelligence is.

      49 – Perhaps a discussion of the implications to national security if such information were to be publicly released or privately passed to hostile actors.

      50 – Summary to this section: Something like “Therefore, once DOJ saw the contents of these fifteen boxes, we immediately concurred in NARA’s desire to make sure we retrieve *everything* that had not been turned over on Jan 20, 2021.”

      At this point, we come to a new section with a redacted heading. From what little is unredacted in the paragraphs that follow this heading, it strikes me that this section gets into the back-and-forth between DOJ and Trump’s lawyers in trying to get the documents back. This would be the obvious follow-on to the prior section on the fifteen boxes.

      • Puriya says:

        So could 51-63, containing the material proposed by EW and Peterr above, be framed as a section on evidence of obstruction?

        • Peterr says:

          I think the section goes from 51-69. The redacted section after 63 looks like another quotation, not a centered section heading.

          I don’t think that this section has a heading that says “evidence of obstruction” but given the back-and-forth between DOJ and Trump’s lawyers, it would surely contain information that would be part of an obstruction investigation.

          The following section heading is “There is Probable Cause to Believe That Documents Containing Classified NDI and Presidential Records Remain at the Premises.” This would move the discussion from (a) what was in the fifteen boxes, including their importance and sensitivity to (b) what steps the DOJ took to attempt to retrieve these documents, without success, to (c) the shift from asking to taking, by noting that the documents are *still* at Mar-a-Lago.

  22. Rugger9 says:

    OT: Speaking of crossed signals, apparently Patrick Bergy is shopping a hearsay story about Rudy’s claim that Kraken Powell’s appointment as a Special Counsel had been rescinded verbally. I apologize for the lengthy sentence, but IIRC the whole Powell, Special Counsel appointment fiasco was done verbally so it probably means nothing. However, if Madame Kraken did succeed if her appointment plans, how would that affect the ability of DoJ (and the civil litigants) to hold her accountable for her voter fraud snipe hunt?

    • Peterr says:

      The instant Powell tried to do something in her alleged capacity as a Special Counsel, the person/office/organization that she was dealing with would ask a simple question: “Can we please see the documents authorizing you to do what you are trying to do?”

      Long ago, I worked as an academic administrator, and from time to time, I would have to verify the enrollment of a former student as a part of a security clearance they were going through. A man (and it was always a man) would come to my desk, and hand me two things: his FBI ID and a release signed by the person whose enrollment history I was being asked to confirm. If either one of those things was lacking, I’d ask the agent to come back with the necessary documentation. (Note: they always had both.)

      At best, Powell could put it on her CV. But when it comes to power and authority and the ability to do anything, a verbal appointment without any documentation is worth less than the paper it isn’t printed on.

      • Puriya says:

        Thank you Dr. Wheeler and team, for all your insight.

        In a small update, Peterr, the security clearance (that I see as a CS academic) has now been outsourced. There is a fairly large fraction of women (perhaps a majority?) Most remarkably, they try to do this over video call. So they’ll show you their authorization over video as well—all in a crazy hurry to get it done. And if you resist or delay, it only hurts the student.

        • Peterr says:

          Like I said, “Long ago . . .”

          And yes, the student pays the price for agents who don’t know how to do their jobs properly. But if I had released information without someone giving me proper identification and proper authorization, *I* would have been the one who got hurt for violations of FERPA.

  23. Jake says:

    Compromising classified information about HCS? I may have learned everything I know about tradecraft from watching Bond movies, but that sounds like a big, expensive mistake.

  24. Peterr says:

    Another thought about the redacted quotation following paragraph 48. If this is from one of Trump’s handwritten notes — and yes, that is a big IF — that is mentioned at the end of paragraph 47, that could be very problematic for Trump’s lawyers. If they file something with the court that conflicts with this redacted comment, that is game over for obstruction.

    For instance, suppose Trump’s note says “Damn! This is some really secret stuff!!!” and Team Trump makes a claim under oath that Trump had no idea how secret some of this stuff is . . . that would not be good.

  25. Savage Librarian says:

    Turtles & Toads & Swamps, Oh My

    Donald loves to wallow in swamp,
    where he delights in an illicit romp
    with gator buddies who drool & chomp,
    punching down, whomp, whomp…

    He chose to become a Floridian
    where he puts the fib in amphibian,
    driving democracy to oblivion,
    while pretending to love his Gideon.

    He gathers his favorite reptiles
    who support the murkiest exiles,
    And while we awaited his tax files
    they gauged assorted percentiles.

    The thing that he really most hates
    is the evolution of smart primates,
    now attuned to how he operates,
    populating even in red states.

    All those who are willfully upright,
    taking a stand to walk into the light,
    aiming facts to fight the good fight,
    can provide us with a second sight.

    Will we ever come to bear witness
    to all DT maybe thrust on a hit list?
    He could never pass a fair litmus
    testing unitary executive fitness!

    12/3/19 (rev. 3/11/22)

  26. Ravenclaw says:

    Not sure whether Dr. W. will quaff a celebratory pint or spit on the ground, but she’ll roll her eyes to see that her frequent foil NYT Maggie has (breathlessly) introduced the concept of obstruction into her coverage since the affidavit came out. Guess she saw it mentioned there a few times in between the redactions?

  27. Jenny says:

    Thank you Dr. Marcy. I appreciate your insight.
    Trump took the files, didn’t return them when asked and complains he is the victim. He is a thief.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      It does bring up some interesting questions, doesn’t it? That said, there could be other reasons for the problem as well including other spies, CIA methods becoming generally known, some kind of operational error becoming standard practice, etc., so a little skepticism should probably be maintained, just in case.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Anything about that url strike you as funny? For starters, you could erase seven lines, starting with the question mark.

  28. GrantS says:

    I keep thinking Trump attempted to confuse NARA with the returned boxes but had actually gone through them all and marked some as “keep” and perhaps instructions to place within his own personal filing categories.

    Returning rearranged headers without a reference library could have kept NARA busy and Trump thinking he had more time.

    Not that it matters as he shouldn’t have had them.

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