Documents from the empty folders seized in the Mar-a-Lago raid could ‘already’ be ‘with someone else,’ legal expert says

Photo of documents seized by FBI at Mar-a-Lago strewn across the floor, with red circles and arrows pointing to the ones with classification markings.
Documents seized by FBI at Mar-a-Lago.

  • The FBI recovered dozens of empty folders in the Mar-a-Lago probe, according to a court filing.
  • Nearly 100 folders marked "classified" or "return to staff secretary" turned up empty in the raid.
  • The contents of each folder might be "nowhere to be found because they are already with someone else," a legal expert said.

detailed inventory of the items from the Mar-a-Lago probe showed that the FBI recovered dozens of empty folders marked "classified."

Other folders contained instructions on the outside saying that the contents should be returned "to staff secretary/military aide."

Investigators have so far recovered nearly 100 empty folders, according to the inventory unsealed and released by the Justice Department. 

It's unclear where the contents of each empty folder are. But a legal expert who runs a law firm that specializes in national security detailed to The Hill two possible scenarios:

"The least optimistic scenario is that they are nowhere to be found because they are already with someone else," Kel McClanahan, executive director of National Security Counselors, warned. 

"The ideal scenario that would describe this is that the empty folders are actually for the records that are somewhere else in the boxes — that someone just didn't keep them in the folder in the way they were supposed to, so they're not actually out there in the wild somewhere," McClanahan said. 

Last month, the FBI probed into the former president's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida and recovered several boxes containing classified records that Trump took with him from the White House once he left office, according to the court records made public. Some of the boxes were distinctly marked as "top secret," Insider's Sonam Sheth reported

Under the Presidential Records Act, he should have turned the records over to the agency upon leaving office.

The Justice Department is now investigating whether Trump violated any laws pertaining to the handling of government documents. A legal analyst has previously said he could receive a 10-year prison sentence if he's convicted of violating the Espionage Act, a law that dates back to World War I that essentially bars anyone from sharing or disseminating information that could potentially harm or disadvantage the US.

Trump has so far denied all assertions of wrongdoing, saying that he had "declassified" the documents. He also said that "everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Post Author: martin

Martin is an enthusiastic programmer, a webdeveloper and a young entrepreneur. He is intereted into computers for a long time. In the age of 10 he has programmed his first website and since then he has been working on web technologies until now. He is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and Online Magazines. His colleagues appreciate him as a passionate workhorse, a fan of new technologies, an eternal optimist and a dreamer, but especially the soul of the team for whom he can do anything in the world.

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