BREAKING: FBI Affidavit Behind Trump Raid Says Classified Info and Disorganized Docs Prompted Search and Seizure

AP Photo/Terry Renna

The FBI’s affidavit supporting the raid at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, otherwise known in the affidavit as the “TARGET PREMISES,” appears to be based on the president possessing classified materials,  his messy record-keeping, and the assumptions of an FBI agent.


The raid on Aug. 8, 2022, was the first time a president’s home had ever been tossed by the Feds.

According to the 38-page affidavit, the probable cause to raid the former president’s Florida home stems from the 15 boxes of documents he turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) that “contained newspapers, magazines, printed news articles, photos, miscellaneous print-outs, notes, presidential correspondence, personal and post- presidential records, and ‘a lot of classified records.’ Of most significant concern was that highly classified records were unfoldered [sic], intermixed with other records, and otherwise unproperly [sic] identified.”

Agents reported that there were documents with a variety of classified markings, including, they claim, things “which appear” to be defense-related. “The FBI’s investigation has established that documents bearing classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI), were among the materials contained in the FIFTEEN BOXES and were stored at the PREMISES.”

The affidavit claims that in May FBI agents going through the boxes discovered “184 unique docmnents [sic] bearing classification markings, including 67 documents marked as CONFIDENTIAL, 92 documents marked as SECRET, and 25 documents marked as TOP SECRET. Fm1her [sic], the FBI agents observed markings reflecting the following compa11ments [sic]/dissemination controls: HCS, FISA, ORCON, NOFORN, and SI.” The agent wrote that he assumed that some of the documents possibly contained NDI, saying, “based on my training and experience, I know that documents classified at these levels typically contain NDI. Several of the documents also contained what appears to be FPOTUS’s handwritten notes.”


Under the Presidential Records Act, even presidents may not hold defense information.

Former President Trump has filed a lawsuit demanding a “special master,” usually a retired judge, to go through documents and other materials seized from his home.

NARA, which referred the records battle to the FBI, was especially concerned that after Trump left the White House “moving trucks were spotted at Mar-a-Lago.” The affidavit used local news sources to support that Trump had absconded with documents because “at least two moving tmcks [sic] were observed at the PREMISES on January 18, 2021.”

The General Services Administration (GSA) is generally responsible for packing up official materials, but it’s unknown if government employees were responsible for packing what was in the moving trucks on the date specified by NARA. NARA also seem miffed that, though the meetings with the president to claw back materials were contentious, he issued a statement saying that he gladly gave back the materials.

The affidavit features 17 blacked out or nearly blacked out pages.

As I reported at PJ Media, the redactions were made for several reasons in agreement with the magistrate.

Here are some of the accommodations made for the FBI with Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart:

  • The redacted material remains under seal
  • Witness identities will remain secret
  • Minor information which may out law enforcement will remain secret
  • Outing certain information would allow Trump to “frustrate” their investigation

According to the redacted document the FBI believed that Trump had in his possession a variety of classified materials including materials marked with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which may support the claim from Kash Patel, the former chief investigator on the Russia Collusion hoax for the House Intelligence Committee, that Trump was reading through the FBI Crossfire Hurricane documents.


At PJ Media, we believe it’s important to treat classified documents in a serious and respectful way. Balanced against the Fourth Amendment raid of Trump’s home before an election, however, there’s more going on here than just ticking off NARA.

Besides Trump suing to force a special master to go through the documents in question and not the FBI, the former president has a formidable task ahead of him to defend his ability to possess the documents. The president has wide latitude to classify and declassify the documents in his possession, which he did, as we’ve reported at PJ Media. The task will be to counter the fight the DOJ and FBI will put up. And if you don’t think they will, you aren’t paying attention.

It’s hard to forget the statement by disgraced former FBI Director James Comey. Comey laughed over sending agents during the busy Trump transition to have a chat with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

I sent them — something we, I probably wouldn’t have done or gotten away with in a more organized investigation — a more organized administration. The FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official. You would work through the White House counsel and there were discussions and approvals and it would be there and I thought, it’s early enough. Let’s just send a couple of guys over.

The agreement with President Obama over millions of pages of documents took years to settle with NARA.


Trump is a difficult man. Name me one president who hasn’t been. It’s clear there are different standards for Trump than for other presidents.


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