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Former federal prosecutor reveals ‘powder keg’ in FBI raid on Trump – 850 WFTL

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Aerial view of Mar-a-Lago, the estate of Donald Trump, in Pa

John Roca/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images, FILE

(WASHINGTON) — Last Monday, FBI officials raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla., executing a court-ordered search warrant the Department of Justice later revealed was related to possible violations of three criminal statutes.

Officers seized a total of 27 boxes from Mar-a-Lago, with 11 containing classified documents — including top secret information.

ABC News contributor and former federal prosecutor Kan Nawaday spoke with ABC News’ Phil Lipof about what stands out to him in the search warrant, the top secret materials in the boxes and what officials are likely doing now.

PRIME: ABC News contributor and former federal prosecutor Kan Nawaday again with us tonight for some insight on all of this. Kan, thanks for being here. Let’s take a look at the search warrant first. We both have a copy of it. What stands out to you in the search warrant?

NAWADAY: First off, the huge big powder keg in this is the fact that the judge found probable cause to believe that there was a violation of the Espionage Act.

PRIME: And that’s no small feat. We’re talking about espionage here.

NAWADAY: Exactly. What that means is that they think that there was mishandling of top secret information that was transmitted to unauthorized persons. This is the exact same statute that [National Security Agency whistleblower Edward] Snowden was charged with.

PRIME: All right. So let’s move on to the receipt here, the things that they say they took in this search of the former president’s home. You can see at the top a grant of clemency for Roger Stone, information on the president of France, then we see as you move down secret documents, miscellaneous, then we have top secret documents, confidential documents, more top secret documents. Talk about top secret for a minute, because, you know, people can throw that term around, but what does that mean?

NAWADAY: And you’re exactly right. Feel like people throw that term around. But it’s actually very, very specific. What top secret means is a type of document or information that if it gets out there, it can cause exceptionally grave damage to our national security. So it’s really important stuff, it’s sensitive stuff. And the thing that sticks out to me is item “2A,” various TS/SCI documents.

PRIME: That SCI.

NAWADAY: Right, SCI means this is top secret stuff that can only, and should only, be viewed within a certain facility that’s basically protected from data leaks.

PRIME: They’re called skiffs, right?

NAWADAY: Exactly.

PRIME: No phones allowed, nothing. This is where you view these documents exactly.

NAWADAY: Like you cannot take your phone in, you’re not going to get any emails…that’s how sensitive this material is, and they have it there.

PRIME: So then what do they have to do now? Are they concerned about people who may have seen this or where this material may have gone?

NAWADAY: Absolutely. My money’s on what the FBI, and national security professionals are doing right now — they’re looking through everything they’ve gotten from the search and they’re trying to figure out who else may have seen this highly sensitive material.

PRIME: That’s a big task. Yes. Especially with everything that we see they took. OK. Former federal prosecutor and ABC News contributor Kan Nowaday, thanks so much for joining us again, we do appreciate it.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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US government opposes unsealing affidavit for search of Trump's estate

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Monday rebuffed efforts to make public the affidavit supporting the search warrant for former president Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, saying the investigation “implicates highly classified material” and the document contains sensitive information about witnesses.

The government’s opposition came in response to court filings by several news organizations, including The Associated Press, seeking to unseal the underlying affidavit the Justice Department submitted when it asked for the warrant to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate earlier this month.

Trump, in a Truth Social post early Tuesday, called for the release of the unredacted affidavit in the interest of transparency.

The court filing — from Juan Antonio Gonzalez, the US attorney in Miami, and Jay Bratt, a top Justice Department national security official — argues that making the affidavit public would “cause significant and irreparable damage to this ongoing criminal investigation.”

The document, the prosecutors say, details “highly sensitive information about witnesses,” including people who have been interviewed by the government, and contains confidential grand jury information.

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The government told a federal magistrate judge that prosecutors believe some additional records, including the cover sheet for the warrant and the government’s request to seal the documents, should now be made public.

The FBI’s unsealed search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, is photographed Aug. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

A property receipt unsealed Friday showed the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents, with some not only marked top secret but also “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” damage to US interests. The court records did not provide specific details about information the documents might contain.

The Justice Department acknowledged Monday that its ongoing criminal investigation “implicates highly classified material.”

The search warrant, also unsealed Friday, said federal agents were investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting or losing defense information under the Espionage Act. The other statutes address the concealment, mutilation or removal of records and the destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations.

The Mar-a-Lago search warrant, carried out last Monday, was part of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the discovery of classified White House records recovered from Trump’s home earlier this year. The National Archives had asked the department to investigate after saying 15 boxes of records it retrieved from the estate included classified records.

Former US president Donald Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower, August 10, 2022, in New York, on his way to the New York attorney general’s office for a deposition in a civil investigation. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

It remains unclear whether the Justice Department moved forward with the warrant simply as a means to retrieve the records or as part of a wider criminal investigation or an attempt to prosecute the former president.

Multiple federal laws govern the handling of classified information, with both criminal and civil penalties, as well as presidential records.

But the Justice Department, in its filing Monday, argued that its investigation is active and ongoing and that releasing additional information could not only compromise the probe but also subject witnesses to threats or deter others from coming forward to cooperate with prosecutors.

“If disclosed, the affidavit would serve as a roadmap to the government’s ongoing investigation, providing specific details about its direction and likely course, in a manner that is highly likely to compromise future investigative steps,” the government wrote in the court filing.

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FBI Director Wray denounces threats following the agency's search of Trump home

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OMAHA, Neb. — The director of the FBI had strong words Wednesday for supporters of former President Donald Trump who have been using violent rhetoric in the wake of his agency's search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.

Christopher Wray, who was appointed as the agency's director in 2017 by Trump, called threats circulating online against federal agents and the Justice Department "deplorable and dangerous."

"I'm always concerned about threats to law enforcement," Wray said. "Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter who you're upset with."

Wray made the remarks following a news conference during a long-planned visit to the agency's field office in Omaha, Nebraska, where he discussed the FBI's focus on cybersecurity. He declined to answer questions about the hours-long search Monday by FBI agents of Trump's Palm Beach, Florida resort.

It has been easy to find the threats and a call to arms in those corners of the internet favored by right-wing extremists since Trump himself announced the search of his Florida home. Reactions included the ubiquitous "Lock and load" and calls for federal agents and even U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to be assassinated.

On Gab — a social media site popular with white supremacists and antisemites — one poster going by the name of Stephen said he was awaiting "the call" to mount an armed revolution.

"All it takes is one call. And millions will arm up and take back this country. It will be over in less than 2 weeks," the post said.

Another Gab poster implored others: "Lets get this started! This unelected, illegitimate regime crossed the line with their GESTAPO raid! It is long past time the lib socialist filth were cleansed from American society!"

The search of Trump's residence Monday is part of an investigation into whether Trump took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence, according to people familiar with the matter. The Justice Department has been investigating the potential mishandling of classified information since the National Archives and Records Administration said it had received from Mar-a-Lago 15 boxes of White House records, including documents containing classified information, earlier this year.

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Ex-CIA analyst says fallout over raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resembles the lead-up to the Capitol attack and predicts another 'catastrophic event'

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  • A former intel official suggested another "catastrophic event" like the Capitol riot might happen.
  • Phil Mudd said threats against law enforcement resembled the lead-up to the Capitol attack.
  • Threats have escalated as Republicans lash out against the FBI's investigation into Donald Trump.

A former intelligence official who served in both the FBI and the CIA said the fallout from the FBI's Mar-a-Lago raid resembled the events preceding the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol — and predicted there could be another "catastrophic event."

Phil Mudd, now a CNN counterterrorism analyst, worked for the CIA as an analyst specializing in South Asia and the Middle East. He later served as the first deputy director of the FBI's National Security Branch.

Mudd appeared on CNN on Sunday to discuss the aftermath of the FBI's search of former President Donald Trump's residence. Federal officials said violent threats to law enforcement spiked after the raid. Some Republican lawmakers, including Trump, have railed against the FBI and baselessly suggested the agency might target regular citizens next.

"When I followed extremists overseas, I never anticipated we would see this in America. We are," Mudd said in an interview with CNN's Jim Acosta, adding that today's domestic extremists were similar to the ones he monitored.

Mudd pointed to Trump's recent comments referring to the FBI's investigation into him as a hoax and suggesting without evidence that the FBI might've planted materials at Mar-a-Lago.

"The same thing that happened before January 6 is happening today," he continued, apparently referring to the rhetoric and false claims Trump made about the 2020 election before the insurrection.

He also mentioned the armed Trump supporters who protested in front of an FBI office in Phoenix on Saturday.

"People with AR-15s and camo are going to say, 'I'm going to do something about it,'" he said. "That's dangerous. I think we're going to see another catastrophic event."

There has already been violence linked to the backlash against the FBI. On Thursday, an armed man wearing body armor attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati. Authorities said he was fatally shot at the scene after an hours-long standoff with the police. The man was also believed to have been at the Capitol on January 6, a law-enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The FBI recovered boxes of documents, including 11 sets of classified material, from Mar-a-Lago during the search, according to records unsealed Friday. The investigation, per the records, is focused on whether Trump broke three laws related to the handling of government documents, including the Espionage Act.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and said he declassified all the documents before leaving office, though he hasn't publicly provided documentation of that. Presidential documents, classified or not, are public property and by law are managed by the National Archives.

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How Did ‘Rapunzel’ Melania Trump Meet Jeff Epstein In 1990s

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How did ‘Rapunzel’ Trump first meet ‘Evil’ Epstein’?

As it is revealed that Melania Trump was nicknamed “Rapunzel,” we again revisit the question of whether the former first lady was trafficked to America by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell

In August 2020, The Steeple Times asked: “Was Melania Trump trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein” and now with revelations yesterday in Business Insider that the former first lady was nicknamed “Rapunzel” by the American secret services we again revisit the story of the connections between these equally strange characters.

 

As we previously suggested back in 2020, Jeffrey Epstein supposedly began telling anyone who’d listen that he was the one that introduced the then Melania Knauss to Donald Trump just after the 45th POTUS came to power in 2017.

 

Going further, at the time, we added:

 

“Given the disgraced financier’s planes frequently jetted back and forth to Eastern Europe, stranger things indeed have happened [than that it was Jeffrey Epstein whom first brought the now former first lady into America]. Melania Trump could have flown on the infamous ‘Lolita Express’ and she could [even have been] one of mucky Maxwell’s recruits.”

 

Though photographed repeatedly with the deviant duo over the years, the Trumps – whom first met according to Wikipedia in September 1998 – have repeatedly rubbished Epstein’s claim and attempted to distance themselves from the croaked paedophile.

 

Responding of Epstein’s wild allegation, another man who claims to have introduced Melania Knauss – subsequently “nicknamed ‘Rapunzel’ by the secret service because she rarely left ‘her tower, aka the White House residence’” – to Donald Trump, Italian nightclub Paolo Zampolli, simply responded “NO WAY. Fake news. B.S.”

 

Pictured top: A mock version of Melania Trump in fancy dress (left) and a real photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in fancy dress at Windsor Castle in 2006. Epstein dressed in a Navy SEAL uniform for the occasion – Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday party – and included both legitimate service ribbons and medals and fictitious ones in spite of the fact he’d never been a Navy SEAL.

 

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FBI informant could be one of 6-8 people in Trump's inner circle

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  • Mick Mulvaney said that someone "very close" to Trump is possibly working with the FBI.

  • Mulvaney, who was Trump's chief of staff, said even he didn't know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago.

  • He estimated there were six to eight people in Trump's inner circle with access to such information.

Mick Mulvaney, a former White House chief of staff for former President Donald Trump, has speculated that if an FBI informant in Trump's camp did exist, they would likely be one of the six to eight people closest to the former president.

Mulvaney spoke to CNN on Thursday about the FBI's Monday raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

He said that he thought the informant whose tip-off sparked the raid was likely someone deeply embedded in Trump's orbit and "really close" to him.

Citing sources, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that someone had told the authorities that classified government documents might have been improperly stored at Mar-a-Lago.

"I didn't even know there was a safe at Mar-a-Lago, and I was the chief of staff for 15 months," Mulvaney said.

He added that the informant would be someone "very close to the president" who handled day-to-day affairs and knew "where the documents were."

"My guess is there's probably six or eight people who had that kind of information," Mulvaney said.

"If you know where the safe is and you know the documents are in 10 boxes in the basement, you're pretty close to the president," he said.

Mulvaney added that he did not know who the people in Trump's "inside circle" were at the moment, and was unable to provide specific names.

He also urged the FBI to release more information about the search. "The burden is on them to show that they are absolutely on the up-and-up," he said. "And releasing that affidavit is something they can and should do."

Mulvaney's comments come as suspicions grow within Trumpworld about there being a mole close to the former president. According to Axios, Trump allies believe someone may have "flipped" on the former president and started working with the FBI.

Michael Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, also weighed in on the matter, telling Insider he wouldn't be surprised if the informant turned out to be Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, or one of his children.

The FBI has not given an official reason for its search of Mar-a-Lago, though it may reveal a reason if the DOJ's motion to unseal court records regarding the raid goes through.

Numerous media outletsalong with Trump's son, Eric — have suggested that the search concerned material that Trump may have taken to Mar-a-Lago from the White HouseThe Washington Post also reported that the FBI had been searching for classified documents about nuclear weapons during the raid.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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