the top secret files scattered on the floor –

from Marilisa Palumbo

The case is getting worse: the accusation of obstruction of justice for the former president is increasingly probable

NEW YORK – The decision of Donald Trump to try to slow down the investigation of documents not returned to the National Archives requesting the appointment of a “special master”, a third-party auditor to examine the material seized by the FBI on August 8 in Mar-a-Lago, could have been a boomerang. The Department of Justice has in fact used his answer to better build, even in the eyes of public opinion, the case against the former president. Thirty-six pages e a photo that will remain in the history books: that of the floor of Mar-a-Lago strewn with documents mixed with magazines and clearly indicated as secrets or top secret. A “thrilling” image, national security experts or those who had to handle for work yesterday called it similar files.

The colors of the “covers” shown in the photo are typical of the three-level security system with which information is presented and stored. The “Secrets” (in red) and other “Top Secrets” (in yellow) could cause “serious harm to national security” if in the hands of unauthorized persons. On some (whose content has been obscured by the FBI) ​​also appears the acronym HCS-P, which indicates information received from spies or informants.

The deed of the department reconstructs how it got here. The National Archives have been trying to retrieve confidential documents Trump brought with him from the White House for about a year. In January they get 15 boxes and find a lot of (184) classified files inside; then they turn to the former president’s staff who after several postponements at the beginning of June accepts a meeting in Mar-a-Lago, where other classified documents are handed over and a declaration is signed stating that those left are in the deposit.

In the meantime, however, the National Archives had also turned to the FBI which, in the “raid” of 8 August, found another 100 documents. The deed signed by Jay Bratt, head of the counterintelligence section of the Justice Department, explains that the Bureau got the search warrant after getting directions (an informant?) “What government documents had probably been hidden and removed from the storage room and that efforts had probably been made to obstruct the government investigation. ‘ So much so that other material appears in the raid: “That the FBI – argues Bratt – within hours, has recovered twice as many marked documents as classified after the former president’s attorney and other representatives had weeks to do theirs “Diligent research”seriously questions the representation of the facts in the June 3 certification and throws doubts about the extent of cooperation in this story “.

The act of the Justice Department shows how investigators are focusing not only on whether the material should not be there and not properly stored, but also on the question of whether Trump’s staff intentionally lied about the presence of those documents. Which would constitute a crime of obstruction of justice. Meanwhile, the main question remains: why did Trump have that material in Mar-a-Lago and didn’t want to return it?

August 31, 2022 (change August 31, 2022 | 23:06)

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