A photo shared by the Justice Department previewed documents seized by the FBI during a raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida club and residence on August 8, including documents clearly labeled ” top secret” with color coded cover pages.
The photo, which was shared in a court filing on Tuesday, showed a large pile of documents strewn across the floor in an unidentified location. At least half a dozen documents include the brightly colored cover pages used by the federal government to indicate the level of security clearance needed to review the document in question.
Visible in the photo of the Mar-a-Lago documents, five documents with yellow cover pages were labeled “TOP SECRET/SCI”. Compartmented Sensitive Information, or SCI, denotes an additional restriction of who among the group, in this case with “top secret” clearance, can view the document. At least one document with a reddish-orange cover page is labeled “SECRET/SCI”.
“Top secret” is the highest level of classification a document can receive, followed by “secret” and “confidential”, with the added SCI tag imposing additional restrictions.
The cover pages also clearly state: “All persons handling this information are required to protect it from unauthorized disclosure in the interest of the national security of the United States. The handling, storage, reproduction and destruction of the attached document will be in accordance with the executive decree(s) statute(s) and implementing regulation(s) of the agency.”
Filing cover sheets are meant to remain affixed to the top of records until they are declassified, downgraded or destroyed, according to the National Archives.
The “2A” marker appears to match the list of seized materials, which described item 2A as “Miscellaneous Classified Documents/TS/SCI”. The second item on the list was described as a “leather-bound document box”, suggesting that the documents pictured were discovered inside this box, which was not pictured.
The Justice Department is investigating Trump’s handling of government records, including those he took with him to Mar-a-Lago upon leaving the White House. Presidential documents, classified or not, are public property and are managed by the National Archives when a president leaves office.
During the Mar-a-Lago raid, the FBI seized several sets of classified documents, according to court records. In Tuesday’s court filing, federal investigators said they had evidence to suggest it was “likely” that efforts were made to obstruct the investigation and that classified documents may have been “covered up and suppressed.” “.
Trump denied wrongdoing with various explanations, including that he had declassified all Mar-a-Lago documents, and said his team was cooperating with the investigation ahead of the raid.
Tuesday’s photo also showed a framed copy of a 2019 Time magazine cover that featured an illustration of Trump looking over his shoulder from inside the Oval Office as a number of his Democratic election challengers of 2020 were looking out the window.