Trump passports taken in FBI search of Mar-a-Lago returned to former president

DOJ opposes unsealing Trump search affidavit

Justice Department opposes unsealing Trump FBI search warrant affidavit


Washington — Passports belonging to former President Donald Trump that have been taken by the FBI through the search carried out at his South Florida residence final week have been returned to the former president, a legislation enforcement supply confirmed to CBS News.

The supply stated the passports got again to Trump after they have been found by a “filter team,” a bunch of federal investigators who display screen the supplies seized through the execution of a search warrant for privileged or extraneous data.

The FBI stated in an announcement that when executing search warrants, the bureau “follows search and seizure procedures ordered by courts, then returns items that we do not need to be retained for law enforcement purposes.”

In a publish round 1:30 p.m. ET Monday on Truth Social, the former president’s social media platform, Trump claimed the FBI “stole” three passports, one of which he stated was expired, when brokers carried out the search of Mar-a-Lago final week.

“This was an assault on a political opponent at a level never seen before in our country,” he wrote. “Third World!”

Several hours later, Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Trump, shared on Twitter an e mail the former president’s attorneys obtained from Jay Bratt, a prime Justice Department official, alerting them that the passports had been taken and could be returned.

“We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport. We are returning them, and they will be ready for pickup at WFO at 2 pm today,” Bratt wrote, referring to the bureau’s Washington area office.

The e mail was despatched to Trump’s attorneys at 12:49 p.m. ET Monday, earlier than the former president’s accusation that the FBI stole his passports. The legislation enforcement supply additionally confirmed the accuracy of the e-mail from Bratt, who’s chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Control Section on the Justice Department.

In the search of Mar-a-Lago final week, FBI brokers seized 11 units of labeled paperwork, together with packing containers containing information marked “secret,” “top secret,” “confidential” and “classified/TS/SCI,” or prime secret/delicate compartmented data, in accordance to the search warrant and property receipt unsealed by a federal Justice of the Peace decide in Florida on Friday.

The warrant and accompanying paperwork additionally indicated the president is beneath investigation for potential violations of three federal statutes, together with the Espionage Act, and particularly the part of that legislation involving gathering, transmitting or dropping protection data.

Since the FBI’s search, Trump has repeatedly criticized the Justice Department and bureau, claiming with out proof it was a politically motivated assault focusing on a probable challenger to President Biden in 2024.

On Friday, the former president claimed his authorized crew had been complying with the federal government’s requests associated to the information, however CBS News discovered that weeks earlier than the search, one of Trump’s attorneys signed a doc certifying that each one labeled supplies had been faraway from Mar-a-Lago. The certification got here after a June 3 meeting between Justice Department officers and Trump’s attorneys on the South Florida property, and a grand jury subpoena was additionally issued in the spring, in accordance to two sources.

After the former president’s lawyer licensed all labeled supplies had been retrieved from Mar-a-Lago, investigators discovered there should be extra there.

Trump has additionally claimed some of the paperwork taken by the FBI have been protected beneath attorney-client privilege and govt privilege, “which they knowingly should not be taken.” The reference by Bratt to filter brokers, although, suggests the FBI is working to guarantee federal prosecutors don’t course of privileged materials outdoors the scope of the search warrant.

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