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The international press has been following Donald Trump’s classified documents scandal and four key countries may have significant national interests at stake if any of the information was compromised.
"When Donald Trump's Florida home was searched earlier this week, it unleashed a political firestorm unlike anything in recent memory," British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) correspondent Gareth Evans reported. "The FBI took 11 sets of classified files in total, including four that were labeled 'top secret'. Three sets were classified as 'secret documents' and three were 'confidential.'"
The cache also included files marked "TS/SCI", a designation for the country's most important secrets that if revealed publicly could cause "exceptionally grave" damage to US national security.
On the other side of the world, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was also covering the scandal under the headline, "Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago was a 'nightmare' environment for housing classified documents, experts say."
"Early in his presidency, he spontaneously gave highly classified information to Russia's foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation while he was in the Oval Office, US officials said at the time. But it was at Mar-a-Lago that US intelligence seemed especially at risk," the Australian network reported.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed former Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary McCord.
"Even just retention of highly classified documents in improper storage — particularly given Mar-a-Lago, the foreign visitors there and others who might have connections with foreign governments and foreign agents — creates a significant national security threat," said McCord. "Clearly they thought it was very serious to get these materials back into secured space."
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) used the headline, "Trump under investigation for Espionage Act violations, FBI search warrant reveals."
"US media speculated they feared nuclear secrets could get out without urgent action," CBC reported.
Radio New Zealand (RNZ) featured the headline, "FBI removed top secret documents from Trump's home, Justice Department says."
"FBI agents took more than 30 items including more than 20 boxes, binders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency for Trump's ally and longtime adviser Roger Stone, a list of items removed from the property showed," RNZ reported. "Numerous federal laws prohibit the mishandling of classified material, including the Espionage Act as well as another statute that prohibits the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material. Trump increased the penalties for this while he was in office, making it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison."
These four countries may have important self-interest in whether the documents were compromised. Included in the 15 boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago in January were reportedly "signals intel" information.
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States together form "The Five Eyes" — which the UK Defense Journal describes as the "intelligence alliance of the Anglosphere."
"The Five Eyes was formally founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, through the multilateral agreement for co-operation in signals intelligence (SIGINT), known as the UKUSA Agreement, on 5 March 1946," UK Defense Journal explained. "Initially, compromising only the UK and the United States, it expanded to also include Canada in 1948 and Australia and New Zealand in 1956, all of these last three English-speaking countries, members of the Commonwealth of Nations and with similar political systems when compared to Britain. Thereby, the ‘Five Eyes’ term was created from the lengthy ‘AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/ Eyes Only’ classification level that included the ‘eyes’ that could have access to high profile papers and information."
Watch the BBC's report on Donald Trump below or at this link.
Donald Trump search warrant: FBI took top secret documents from Florida home - BBC News www.youtube.com
Mar-a-Lago smoking gun footage may mean DOJ may not have recovered all the classified material: legal experts
Donald Trump's legal predicament may have worsened, legal experts said, after a bombshell report published Saturday evening by The New York Times.
"The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room," Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush reported. "That activity prompted concern among investigators about the handling of the material. It is not clear when precisely the footage was from during the lengthy back-and-forth between Justice Department officials and Mr. Trump’s advisers, or whether the subpoena to Mr. Trump seeking additional documents had already been issued.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti noted the story and tweeted, "It sounds like DOJ has reason to be concerned that it *still* may not have recovered all of the classified material taken by Trump."
Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks said, "obviously that raises many questions since it was false. If true, FBI couldn't have left with 21 more boxes in August."
Law Prof. Rick Hasen wrote, "Do any of us doubt that someone besides Trump or someone in Trump's orbit who lied about possessing such documents and didn't give them back would already be held in custody pending further proceedings?"
Attorney Pam Keith said Attorney General Merrick Garland "still hasn’t detained or even questioned Trump. People are acting like that’s normal or justifiable. Given what we know, It’s INSANE!!"
"So what’s the excuse today for Trump not being arrested?" Keith asked. "I stand by my conclusion that Garland is too scared."
Bestselling author Don Winslow wanted Trump indicted long ago.
"What happened when Donald Trump was not indicted for 50 years? He became President of the United States and committed four more years of crimes," Winslow wrote. "When does it stop?"
Bill Kristol, who served as Vice President Dan Quayle's chief of staff said, "Whoa. Let me amplify. WHOA."
\u201cFormer President Trump has repeatedly changed his story as to why he kept classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. @RohdeD tells @CharlesMBlow that while his base will likely believe him, there is "fatigue with the chaos and the lies of Donald Trump." WATCH:\u201d— AYMAN (@AYMAN) 1660438335
Donald Trump's possession of documents marked with top secret classification at Mar-a-Lago was the focus of another bombshell report published online by The New York Times on Saturday evening.
"Last year, officials with the National Archives discovered that Mr. Trump had taken a slew of documents and other government material with him when he left the White House at the end of his tumultuous term in January 2021. That material was supposed to have been sent to the archives under the terms of the Presidential Records Act," Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush reported. "Mr. Trump returned 15 boxes of material in January of this year. When archivists examined the material, they found many pages of documents with classified markings and referred the matter to the Justice Department, which began an investigation and convened a grand jury."
A subpoena was reportedly sent in the spring demanding the return of the classified public records.
On June 3, Jay I. Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in the DOJ’s national security division, visited Mar-a-Lago and the newspaper reported "Bratt and his team left with additional material marked classified, and around that time also obtained the written declaration from a Trump lawyer attesting that all the material marked classified in the boxes had been turned over."
The subpoena for the records' return was not the only subpoena DOJ sent in the case.
"The Justice Department also subpoenaed surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago recorded over a 60-day period, including views from outside the storage room. According to a person briefed on the matter, the footage showed that, after one instance in which Justice Department officials were in contact with Mr. Trump’s team, boxes were moved in and out of the room," The Times reported. "That activity prompted concern among investigators about the handling of the material. It is not clear when precisely the footage was from during the lengthy back-and-forth between Justice Department officials and Mr. Trump’s advisers, or whether the subpoena to Mr. Trump seeking additional documents had already been issued.
Read the full report.