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Donald Trump under investigation for potential violation of the Espionage Act

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Federal Judge Bruce Reinhart had given Donald Trump’s lawyers until 3 p.m. on Friday August 12 to make known whether they objected to the unsealing of the warrant for the search carried out by the FBI on Monday August 8 in Mar-a-Lago, the residence of the former American president in Florida. A few minutes before the set time, the elements contained in the mandate began to filter through the press, causing shock in a country that is accustomed to surprises concerning Donald Trump. According to the document published by the Ministry of Justice, on 45e President of the United States is being investigated for potential violations of the Espionage Act of 1917.

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FBI agents who went to his home on August 12 seized about twenty boxes of documents, many of them harmless: photos, letters tracing the history of the Trump presidency, as it should be reflected by the archives. A “property receipt”, issued at the same time as the search warrant, lists the documents recovered. Most are identified under vague titles: “leather shirt”, ” Pictures “… Two are a bit more specific. One relates to the July 2020 executive order pardoning a friend of Donald Trump, Roger Stone, who was sentenced to three years in prison as part of the investigation into suspected collusion between the Republican billionaire’s campaign team and Russia. , in 2016. The other states: “Information Re: President of France” (“information about the French president”, without further details). The Elysée declined to comment.

High level classification

But the investigators mostly found eleven sets (“sets”) of classified documents, the presence of which at Mar-a-Lago potentially endangers national security. Several are classified at the highest level: TS/SCI (for Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information). They can only be viewed in secure offices belonging to the federal government, and top secret clearance is not enough. To read it, you must have special access and a specific reason.

The search warrant, dated August 5 – three days before the operation – mentions the legal texts relied on by the investigators to justify to the judge what Mr. Trump called “raid” on his residence. To the surprise of the experts there is the law on espionage. It prohibits any collection of national security information that could harm the United States or aid foreign adversaries.

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