48 empty folders with "classified markings" found in Trump’s estate, FBI revealed
FBI agents who searched former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate found dozens of empty folders marked classified but with nothing inside, raising speculation about whether the former president is in possession of or has destroyed the documents.
A court filing unsealed on Friday showed that FBI agents found 48 empty folders in their search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8.
The FBI used a warrant to search Trump’s private club and residence as part of a Department of Justice investigation of the former president’s handling of classified documents after he left office in January 2021.
The court filing on Friday, part of a legal fight on whether an independent arbiter can be appointed in the investigation, listed the items that the FBI recovered at Mar-a-Lago in detail.
It was unclear whether the contents of the empty folders were retrieved elsewhere in the residence, but the court filing said the investigation remained “an active criminal investigation.”
According to the list, the FBI retrieved 18 documents marked as top secret, 54 as secret, 31 as confidential, and 11,179 government documents or photographs without classification markings.
The filing also suggested that the documents had been kept improperly at Trump’s house. Eleven of the documents marked as top secret were recovered in a storage room at Mar-a-Lago.
Trump has railed against the search of his private property by the FBI, which was unprecedented, and has said previously that he would take legal action. His lawyers have asked that an outside arbiter known as a special master be appointed to review the government files to determine whether the former president had the privilege to take any of them after leaving the White House.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden administration officials raised “deep concern” that the documents might have disclosed sensitive information about US intelligence gathering methods or harmed relations with US allies.