(WASHINGTON) — Last Monday, FBI officials raided former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Fla., executing a court-ordered search warrant the Department of Justice later revealed was related to possible violations of three criminal statutes.
Officers seized a total of 27 boxes from Mar-a-Lago, with 11 containing classified documents — including top secret information.
ABC News contributor and former federal prosecutor Kan Nawaday spoke with ABC News’ Phil Lipof about what stands out to him in the search warrant, the top secret materials in the boxes and what officials are likely doing now.
PRIME: ABC News contributor and former federal prosecutor Kan Nawaday again with us tonight for some insight on all of this. Kan, thanks for being here. Let’s take a look at the search warrant first. We both have a copy of it. What stands out to you in the search warrant?
NAWADAY: First off, the huge big powder keg in this is the fact that the judge found probable cause to believe that there was a violation of the Espionage Act.
PRIME: And that’s no small feat. We’re talking about espionage here.
NAWADAY: Exactly. What that means is that they think that there was mishandling of top secret information that was transmitted to unauthorized persons. This is the exact same statute that [National Security Agency whistleblower Edward] Snowden was charged with.
PRIME: All right. So let’s move on to the receipt here, the things that they say they took in this search of the former president’s home. You can see at the top a grant of clemency for Roger Stone, information on the president of France, then we see as you move down secret documents, miscellaneous, then we have top secret documents, confidential documents, more top secret documents. Talk about top secret for a minute, because, you know, people can throw that term around, but what does that mean?
NAWADAY: And you’re exactly right. Feel like people throw that term around. But it’s actually very, very specific. What top secret means is a type of document or information that if it gets out there, it can cause exceptionally grave damage to our national security. So it’s really important stuff, it’s sensitive stuff. And the thing that sticks out to me is item “2A,” various TS/SCI documents.
PRIME: That SCI.
NAWADAY: Right, SCI means this is top secret stuff that can only, and should only, be viewed within a certain facility that’s basically protected from data leaks.
PRIME: They’re called skiffs, right?
PRIME: No phones allowed, nothing. This is where you view these documents exactly.
NAWADAY: Like you cannot take your phone in, you’re not going to get any emails…that’s how sensitive this material is, and they have it there.
PRIME: So then what do they have to do now? Are they concerned about people who may have seen this or where this material may have gone?
NAWADAY: Absolutely. My money’s on what the FBI, and national security professionals are doing right now — they’re looking through everything they’ve gotten from the search and they’re trying to figure out who else may have seen this highly sensitive material.
PRIME: That’s a big task. Yes. Especially with everything that we see they took. OK. Former federal prosecutor and ABC News contributor Kan Nowaday, thanks so much for joining us again, we do appreciate it.
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