A Detailed Inventory of Everything the FBI Took from Mar-a-Lago

Read how secret docs were mingled with clothes, gifts, and empty folders marked “classified.”

Jon Elswick/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Intermingled with top secret, secret, and confidential documents that federal agents seized from former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last month were more than three dozen empty folders marked “classified,” according to a court filing unsealed today. Still more empty folders were labeled “return to staff secretary/military aide”—a reference to the White House official responsible for the flow of documents to the president.

The disclosure of so many empty folders raises questions about whether the FBI recovered all the sensitive government documents it was seeking. According to the unsealed filing, agents found classified documents mixed in with news clippings, books, clothes, gifts, and hundreds of other government documents and photos without classification markings. 

Trump’s attorneys are trying to convince a federal judge in West Palm Beach, Florida, to appoint a “special master” to decide whether any of the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago were subject to executive privilege or attorney-client privilege—even though FBI says its document screeners have already reviewed them. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice and intelligence officials are reviewing the classifications of the recovered documents and starting to assess the potential risks their mishandling poses for national security, according to Politico. The DOJ is investigating Trump for potential violations of the Presidential Records Act, the Espionage Act, and obstruction of justice.

Read the list of recovered documents here.

Fact:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and billionaires wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2022 demands.

payment methods

Fact:

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2022 demands.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate