Judge unseals Trump Mar-a-Lago search warrant

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Elise Hammond, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 9:10 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022
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4:31 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

Read the search warrant for Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort

From CNN staff

The US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Friday unsealed the search warrant and property receipt from the FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach earlier this week.

Read the unsealed search warrant here.

4:09 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

Top secret documents among those that FBI removed from Mar-a-Lago

From CNN's Marshall Cohen

The entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen on Monday evening, August 8.
The entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen on Monday evening, August 8. (Terry Renna/AP)

One of the newly unsealed documents is a search warrant “receipt” listing the items that the FBI collected from Mar-a-Lago. 

That document reveals that FBI agents removed more than 20 boxes from former President Donald Trump’s resort and residence in Palm Beach, Florida, as well as binders of photos, sets of classified government materials and at least one handwritten note. 

Federal agents seized just one set of “top secret/SCI” documents, according to the search warrant receipt. Agents took four sets of “top secret” documents, three sets of “secret” documents, and three sets of “confidential” documents. 

The warrant receipt didn’t detail what these classified documents were about.

Among the items is a document about pardoning Roger Stone, a staunch Trump ally who was convicted in 2019 of lying to Congress during its probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The Stone-related material taken from Mar-a-Lago was listed in the warrant receipt as "Executive Grant of Clemency re: Roger Jason Stone, Jr."

Trump pardoned Stone before leaving office, shielding Stone from a three-year prison term. It’s unclear how the Stone-related document seized during the search is tied to the broader criminal probe into Trump’s potential mishandling of classified materials. 

A spokesperson for Stone told CNN: "Mr. Stone has no knowledge as to the facts surrounding his clemency documents appearing on the inventory of items seized from former President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago."

During the search, FBI agents also recovered material about the “President of France,” according to the warrant receipt. 

CNN's Adam Levine contributed reporting to this post.

3:53 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

Judge unseals Mar-a-Lago search warrant documents

From CNN's Adam Levine

A judge has unsealed the search warrant for former President Trump’s Florida home of Mar-a-Lago and related documents.

3:49 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

Judge orders public release of Mar-a-Lago search warrant documents  

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

The search warrant for former President Trump’s home of Mar-a-Lago and related documents are set to be released publicly imminently, after a federal judge ordered its release on Friday. 

The release marks an unprecedented week that began with the search – an evidence-gathering step in a national security investigation about the mishandling of classified documents. 

3:53 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

FBI took 11 sets of classified docs from Mar-a-Lago, including some highly classified material, documents show

From CNN's Marshall Cohen and Katelyn Polantz

The Secret Service stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, on Monday, August 8, in Palm Beach, Florida.
The Secret Service stand outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, on Monday, August 8, in Palm Beach, Florida. (Terry Renna/AP)

The FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents from its search of former President Trump's Florida property Mar-a-Lago earlier this week, including some materials marked as “top secret/SCI,” one of the highest levels of classification, according to documents from the search warrant that were released Friday.

CNN is still going through a copy of the search warrant and receipt.  

3:41 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

CNN has obtained a copy of the search warrant and receipt

Former President Trump’s legal team has agreed to release the historic search warrant that authorized the seizure of federal records from his home at Mar-a-Lago, the Justice Department told a federal court Friday.

CNN has obtained a copy of the search warrant and receipt and is going through it now.

4:04 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

Mar-a-Lago search warrant identifies 3 federal crimes investigators are looking at, report says

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

The search warrant for Mar-a-Lago identifies three federal crimes that the Justice Department is looking at as part of its investigation: violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records, according to The New York Times. 

The inclusion of the crimes indicates the Justice Department has probable cause to investigate those offenses as it was gathering evidence in the search.

No one has been charged with a crime at this time.

3:21 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

Trump's legal team agrees to the release of Mar-a-Lago search warrant  

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Former President Donald Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower on Wednesday, August 10.
Former President Donald Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower on Wednesday, August 10. (Julia Nikhinson/AP)

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has agreed the historic search warrant that authorized the seizure of federal records from his home at Mar-a-Lago should be released.

The Justice Department had told the court it believes that unsealing the confidential investigative documents is in the public interest.

The DOJ said it supports releasing four documents: The search warrant itself, two attachments that describe at least to some extent what is being searched and why, and a receipt handed to Trump’s legal team documenting what was seized from the property. 

Remember: The magistrate judge overseeing the case will still need to formally order the unsealing before the documents are released.

4:25 p.m. ET, August 12, 2022

National Archives pushes back on Trump’s unsubstantiated claim about Obama’s handling of classified documents

From CNN's Zachary Cohen

The National Archives pushed back Friday on former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, “kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified” upon leaving office. 

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” NARA said in a statement.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA. Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration,” the statement from National Archives said. 

Earlier Friday, Trump alleged that Obama not only kept classified records but that many of them are related to nuclear weapons. Trump made the claim after The Washington Post reported the FBI sought documents related to nuclear weapons when it searched his Mar-a-Lago residence this week.