A spokesperson for former President Donald Trump published an alleged email from a top DOJ email stating that the president’s passports were accidentally taken during the raid on his home last week.
“In the raid by the FBI of Mar-a-Lago, they stole my three Passports (one expired), along with everything else,” Trump wrote on social media.
CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell later tweeted that “[a]ccording to a DOJ official, the FBI is NOT in possession of former President Trump’s passports.”
A spokesperson for Trump later responded directly to her tweet by posting a screenshot of an alleged email from Justice Department counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt that stated that the passports were being returned.
“We have learned that the filter agents seized three passports belonging to President Trump, two expired and one being his active diplomatic passport,” the screenshot states. “We are returning them, and they will be ready for pickup at WFO at 2 pm today. I am traveling, but you can coordinate further with [redacted] copied above. Thanks.”
Trump’s post on social media appears to have come after he received the alleged email informing him that the passports were being returned.
Federal investigators recovered at least 4 sets of top secret documents, 3 sets of secret documents, and 3 sets of confidential documents during their search, which U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland authorized.
Multiple sources told The New York Times that at least one of Trump’s lawyers signed a written statement to the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this summer that claimed all classified material and boxes in a storage area on the property had been returned to the federal government. Agents searched the storage area and Trump’s office and residence on the property.
The signed declaration, combined with the at least 11 sets of classified documents that were discovered on the property, could mean that either Trump or his legal team potentially lied to federal investigators.
The sections of the U.S. criminal code that were cited on the search warrant indicate the investigation centers around potential violations of the Espionage Act, the unlawful taking of government records, and obstruction of justice related to destroying documents.
This report has been updated to include additional information.