What’s in the affidavit that led FBI to search Mar-a-Lago?

The affidavit that was behind the search warrant carried at Donald Trump’s home earlier this month has shed some light about the probe into the former president’s conduct, which has dominated headlines throughout August.

Although heavily redacted, the document released on Friday by a court order confirmed previous reports that the FBI and the Department of Justice are investigating Trump for the alleged mishandling of classified material and offered new details about the August 8 search.

Trump and his supporters have been accusing the authorities without evidence of targeting for political reasons, a charge that the former president renewed after the release of the affidavit on Friday.

Here here key takeaways from the document:

The US is conducting a ‘criminal investigation’ into Trump

The affidavit spells out what legal scholars had suspected after the FBI conducted an unprecedented search at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida: The US government is carrying out a criminal probe into Trump.

“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” the document reads.

A criminal investigation may result in charges against the former president, which could throw the US political order into chaos. Trump is considered a frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, but he has not officially announced his candidacy.

The affidavit also said there is “probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction” would be found at Trump’s home, without offering details.

FBI searched for documents containing ‘National Defense Information’

According to the affidavit, the 15 boxes of documents returned to the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) by Trump’s office in January featured “classification markings, which appear to contain National Defense Information (NDI)”.

The US government believed that there were more such documents to be retrieved in the search, the FBI said.

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