Since leaving the White House, former President Donald Trump has hosted an array of admirers and associates in his personal office at Mar-a-Lago. Many took pictures and received souvenirs. It turns out that at least some people may have had close proximity to unprotected classified documents, according to the Justice Department. owned by Trump.
When the FBI raided President Trump’s Florida mansion last month, more than 100 classified documents were found, some of which were kept in the president’s office, the DOJ said in a court filing Tuesday. .
The DOJ said it also seized “three classified documents that were on the desk, not in the box.”
Among the items recovered from inside Trump’s office during the August raid were seven documents classified as “Top Secret,” according to a detailed inventory list, and marked as “Confidential.” It contained 17 documents and 43 empty folders with a “Confidential” banner. It was unsealed by the court on Friday.
Some of the documents the FBI retrieved from a container in President Trump’s office were marked “Top Secret/SCI,” according to photos released by the Justice Department. Only individuals with appropriate security clearance may access.
But after Trump left the presidency, his office appeared to have no such restrictions.
“For anyone who knows President Trump’s office, he has frequent guests there,” Trump’s attorney Alina Hubba said during an appearance on Fox News Wednesday night.
It is unclear when the documents recovered on August 8 were placed in the office, but ABC News reviewed more than a dozen social media posts that appeared to document Mar-a-Lago’s visit. However, guests within the past 9 months include Kyle Rittenhouse, Roger Stone, and the Korean representative of a martial arts organization.
A spokeswoman for Trump declined to comment when contacted by ABC News.
News of the discovery of classified materials in President Trump’s Oval Office says intelligence officials are assessing the potential risks to national security posed by handling the documents in an unsafe manner. It was brought to me when I was
Recent visitors to Mar-a-Lago say security protocols include checks by the Secret Service, but experts say these steps primarily eliminate threats to the former president. It is for security purposes only and not for protecting documents.
Mary McCord, DOJ’s former head of national security, told ABC News after the Mar-a-Lago search warrant was released. Locations that appear to be not properly secured. “
“This could mean that these materials could end up in the hands of people who were not entitled to receive them, including foreign enemies,” McCord said.
Late last year, Trump spoke with Rittenhouse in his Mar-a-Lago office just days after the acquittal of Wisconsin teenager Rittenhouse in the shooting of two men during a 2020 Kenosha protest. I met with him and he claimed he acted in self-defense.
“He called and wanted to know if he could come and say hello because he was a fan,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News, also showing a photo of the former president with Rittenhouse inside the office. Indicated.
“He’s a really nice kid. He’s 18 and just left Mar-a-Lago a while ago and shouldn’t have gone through that,” Trump said.
In March of this year, just weeks before the FBI visited the facility, photos posted on social media showed Trump in his office after pleading guilty to lying in 2017. It appeared that Mr. Pardoned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. FBI.
The photo was posted on Twitter by Flynn’s brother Joseph.
That same month, Stone, Trump’s longtime political adviser, posted a photo of his family at an office meeting with the former president. I am posting.
Stone was indicted and found guilty of obstruction of justice, tampering with witnesses, and multiple counts of lying to Congress in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in November 2019. I got the verdict. The final week of his White House term.
Others ABC News identified as visiting Trump’s Mar-a-Lago office in social media posts from March 2021 to March 2022 include Rep. Lance Gooden. Host of conservative news outlet Real America’s Voice. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.
Earlier, Trump met with Lee Dong-seop, president of Kukkiwon, South Korea’s taekwondo world headquarters, at the Mar-a-Lago office.
At the meeting, Lee presented Trump with an honorary 9th degree taekwondo belt, according to a post on Kukkiwon’s Facebook page. The post included multiple photos of Trump with Lee and his pals.
In a post on Kukkiwon’s Facebook page, Trump said, “I am honored to receive an honorary tier certificate. I believe taekwondo is a great martial art for self-defense. I watched a demonstration by the Kukkiwon taekwondo team. I want to,” he said.
One photo from the post shows Trump with Lee, who appears to be signing taekwondo gis in front of his desk.