- BBC News World
The agents wore civilian clothes, they did not carry weapons and they carried a court order, elements that should have led to a prudent operation. However, it is not.
The FBI’s Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, the home of former President Donald Trump in Florida, has exposed not only a political battle — with the former president portraying himself as the victim of harassment — but also a legal case of critical dimensions.
During the search at Mar-a-Lago, federal agents They collected more than 20 boxes, in which more than a hundred documents were marked with various classifications: from secret to Top secret.
Most of these documents were in a storage room, while others were in Trump’s office.
The Mar-a-Lago search came after months of negotiations between the U.S. National Archives, all documents produced under each presidency by law, and Trump’s lawyers.
In January this year, Trump delivered 15 boxes of documents and other materials to the National Archives. On review, they were found to contain 184 classified documents, 25 of which contained information marked “Top Secret”.
It alarms and The Justice Department was asked to investigate the alleged mishandling of classified filesAfter several attempts, it led to a judge’s order authorizing the FBI to conduct the latest search at Mar-a-Lago.
As attorney and former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained, the discovery of several such items at Trump’s home puts the former president in a difficult situation after he allegedly already turned over all the items in his possession.
“He’s in great legal jeopardy. It’s a very straightforward case for the Justice Department compared to other things they’ve investigated against Trump. Unauthorized possession of government documents and national security information is basically one thing, and proof is your presence at Mar-a-Lago.Rangappa explained to the BBC.
On Wednesday, Trump’s lawyers said in a court filing that Trump keeping sensitive files at his Florida home “should never have been cause for alarm.”
And, they pointed out The search at Mar-a-Lago was “unprecedented, unnecessary and without legal support.”
A curious feature that recently surfaced amid the investigation is a photo in a document sent to the courts by the Justice Department that shows some of the items found at Mar-a-Lago and reveals some clues. About this case.
BBC Mundo tells you 3 things this film shows.
1. Where was the photo taken?
The image shows a black carpet with golden floral patterns, on top of which are a series of documents, some of which have “SECRET/SCI)” written in red, others “TOP SECRET/SCI”.
In the lower right corner you can see a box where several framed paintings of the same size appear, but you can only see the first one showing the cover of TIME magazine, which corresponds to the cover of the 4th edition of that magazine. March 2019 shows the faces of the Democratic Party leaders who at the time were hoping to compete with Trump in the 2020 election.
The former president is known for his penchant for designing Time cards.
To the left of the picture is a kind of cream colored blind and what looks like a blue screen.
However, none of these elements can determine at a glance where the photograph was taken.
However, his own Trump confirmed that it was Mar-a-Lago, this August 31 in a message posted on his social network Truth Social complaining about the way the documents were lying on the carpet..
“Horrible how the FBI randomly threw documents on the floor during the Mar-a-Lago raid (maybe I pretended to do that!) and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see, did they think they should keep it? Secret? Luckily I classified them!” He wrote.
Two. How it was done Register?
Despite exhortations from the former president, it is standard practice for the FBI to display and photograph evidence of recovered items to ensure that each item is accounted for and properly cataloged.
Therefore, although at first glance the documents may appear to be scattered randomly, they are usually placed in an identifiable manner by their labels.
This seems to be confirmed by the fact that there is a sort of L-shaped ruler at the bottom and center of the photo, which allows researchers to give an indication of the actual size of the photographed objects.
Another indicator is a small paper sign next to the documents that says 2A. It helps to indicate where the goods are included in the inventory made of the goods collected during registration.
3. What kind of documents did they find?
Many of the documents you see in the picture have “Confidential” written in red letters, but there are many different possibilities here.
As explained The Washington PostThe government has different colored cards that indicate the level of classification of a document, from blue (secret) to orange (top secret).
In the photo you can see several documents with labels “SECRET/SCI” and “TOP SECRET/SCI”.
SCI is a code that indicates that distribution of the material is restricted and restricted to a subset of individuals authorized to view the information at that level (confidential, confidential, etc.).
Some of the documents photographed have an inscription “UP TO HCS-P/SI/TK”. This means that it includes material that falls into these different categories.
HCS-P is a code indicating that the information was obtained through human intelligence sources. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s classification manual states that it is linked to highly sensitive human intelligence operations, information obtained from classified sources, and/or particularly sensitive human intelligence sources or methods and certain capabilities or technologies. or used in support of human intelligence operations.
SI is a code that stands for special intelligence and specifically intelligence information obtained by monitoring foreign communications signals.
On the other hand, TK is an index Used to refer to information received by spy satellites.
At least one of the documents seen in the photo is marked “SECRET/ORCON-USGOV-NOFORN.” This means that whoever makes the material controls its distribution (ORCON) and cannot share it with allied governments (NOFORN).
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