The search warrant used to seize documents at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on Palm Beach was made public Friday.
The warrant was released after the Department of Justice asked a judge to approve unsealing the search warrant. On Friday, Trump's legal team said it would not object to its unsealing.
There were three potential criminal statutes listed in the search warrant. In order to obtain a search warrant, officials would have to prove they have probable cause and that they would find evidence of a crime.
The statutes listed were:
- 18 USC 2071 — Concealment, removal or mutilation generally
- 18 USC 793 — Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
- 18 USC 1519 — Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy
The search warrant said that 28 boxes of evidence were taken from Trump's residence, including multiple top-secret documents. The search warrant also suggests there were other confidential and secret documents taken.
In a statement, Trump claimed that the documents were declassified before he left office.
"Number one, it was all declassified," Trump wrote. "Number two, they didn’t need to 'seize' anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request. They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago."
According to the federal government, the "unauthorized disclosure (of top secret documents) could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security."
The statute involving destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy is considered the most serious of the crimes. A conviction on that statute contains a maximum penalty of 20 years.
Generally, search warrants are sealed during ongoing investigations.
But Attorney General Merrick Garland argued that because Trump had confirmed the search publicly and the immense public interest in the case, the public should examine the search warrant.
The FBI and DOJ have faced immense criticism from Republicans for seeking the search warrant. Garland said he personally signed off on the search warrant, which was executed on Monday. Trump has rallied Republican allies after being served with the warrant.
Although Garland was appointed by current President Joe Biden, the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump.