The U.S. National Archives discovered more than 700 pages of classified documents at Donald Trump’s Florida home in addition to material seized this month by FBI agents, according to a newly disclosed May letter the records agency sent to the Republican former president’s attorney.
The large quantity of classified material in 15 boxes recovered in January by the National Archives and Records Administration, some marked as “top secret,” provides more insight into what led to the FBI’s court-authorized Aug. 8 search of Trump’s residence at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.
The agency is responsible for preserving government records.
The May 10 letter was sent by Acting U.S. Archivist Debra Steidel Wall to Trump attorney Evan Corcoran. It was released late on Monday by John Solomon, a conservative journalist who Trump authorized in June to access his presidential records. The National Archives posted a copy on its website on Tuesday.
“Among the materials in the boxes are over 100 documents with classification markings, comprising more than 700 pages. Some include the highest levels of classification, including Special Access Program (SAP) materials,” Wall’s letter said, referring to security protocols reserved for some of the country’s most closely held secrets.
The letter contains additional information about Trump’s handling of classified materials and his efforts to delay federal officials from reviewing the documents.
The letter shows that Trump’s legal team repeatedly tried to stall the Archives from letting the FBI and intelligence officials review the materials, saying he needed more time to determine if any of the records were covered by a doctrine called executive privilege that enables a president to shield some records.