Unsourced media leaks, which have been reported by numerous outlets, claim that the FBI searched the Florida home of President Donald J.Trump for classified documents about nuclear weapons, and even though US Attorney Merrick Garland said nothing of the sort at his press conference on Thursday, to the American people, left-leaning media have published these stories and claimed the charges are credible.
It sort of feels like the same kind of Fake News smear and leftist media leaks that Trump’s opponents have used in the past against him and his supporters so many times, as noted by Trump himself on Friday.
“Suspected presence of such files could explain why US attorney general took the step of ordering FBI agents into Trump home,” The Guardian explained about what they see as the importance of the leaks.
“FBI agents were looking for secret documents about nuclear weapons among other classified material when they searched Donald Trump’s home on Monday, it has been reported,” the outlet reported.
The Washington Post cited people familiar with the investigation as saying nuclear weapons documents were thought to be in the trove the FBI was hunting in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. They did not specify what kind of documents or whether they referred to the US arsenal or another country’s.
Newsmax reported on a Thursday night press release from Trump, “encouraging the immediate release” of documents related to the FBI’s search of his Florida estate while rejecting reports that agents had searched his home for documents related to nuclear weapons.
“Not only will I not oppose the release of documents related to the unAmerican, unwarranted, and unnecessary raid and break-in of my home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents, even though they have been drawn up by radical left Democrats and possible future political opponents, who have a strong and powerful vested interest in attacking me, much as they have done for the last 6 years,” Trump said in a statement issued late Thursday.
Trump’s statement on the document release, which his legal team declined to authorize earlier, comes after the Justice Department on Thursday moved to unseal the search warrant and after Attorney General Merrick Garland said in public remarks, also on Thursday, that he “personally approved” the step to seek the warrant that was used and it would be made public.
In a filing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the Justice Department officially asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart to unseal the warrant, the list of seized items, and accompanying information, “absent objection from the former president,” reports CBS News.
“The press and the public enjoy a qualified right of access to criminal and judicial proceedings and the judicial records filed therein,” wrote U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Jay Bratt, head of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section wrote in the request, adding that “the public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred under these circumstances weighs heavily in favor of unsealing.”
Reinhart has given the Justice Department until 3 p.m. Friday to notify him if Trump’s attorneys plan to fight to unseal the documents.
While insisting he wants the records behind the search released, Trump blamed the search and seizure of documents on politics and called it an “unprecedented political weaponization
of law enforcement.”
Merrick Garland said on Thursday evening that the DoJ has asked a Federal court to unseal the Trump search warrant.
The leaked “nuclear weapons” report came hours after the attorney general, Merrick Garland, said he had personally authorized the government request for a search warrant and revealed that the justice department had asked a Florida court for the warrant to be unsealed, noting that Trump himself had made the search public.
The justice department motion referred to “the public’s clear and powerful interest in understanding what occurred in its contents”.
On Friday morning, Trump further stated, via his social media platform Truth Social, that he believes the “nuclear weapons issue is a hoax”, comparing it to other investigations he has called hoaxes in the past, including the Mueller investigation into allegations of collusion between his 2016 election campaign and the Russian government and his historic double impeachment.
“Some sleazy people involved,” he said, adding “planting information, anyone?”
Garland’s announcement followed a furious backlash to the search from Trump supporters who portrayed it as politically motivated. On Thursday a man who tried to breach the FBI’s Cincinnati office was shot and killed by police after he fled the scene.
The Guardian also reported:
The court told the government to present its motion to Trump’s lawyers and to report back by 3pm on Friday on whether Trump objected to the warrant being unsealed.
Several US national media outlets, including the New York Times, CBS, the Washington Post, CNN, and NBC have asked the court to unseal everything related to the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago.
“Information about the design of nuclear weapons is called Restricted Data and is ‘born classified’. That means it is assumed to be classified unless declassified,” Rofer, who writes a blog titled Nuclear Diner, wrote on Twitter. But she added: “There’s no reason for a president to have nuclear weapons design information that I can see.”
Among the nuclear documents that Trump would routinely have had access to would be the classified version of the Nuclear Posture Review, about US capabilities and policies. A military aide is always close to the president carrying the “nuclear football”, a briefcase containing nuclear strike options, but it would be unusual for those documents to be taken out of the football.
Another possibility Rofer pointed to is that Trump could have retained his nuclear “biscuit”, a piece of plastic like a credit card with the identification codes necessary for nuclear launch. Those codes would have been changed however the moment Biden took office at noon on 20 January 2021.