Donald Trump the day after the FBI raid
DAVID DEE DELGADO / REUTERS
Former US President Donald Trump's team is said to have made false statements about the whereabouts of secret documents in his possession, according to a report.
At least one of the Republican's attorneys is said to have signed a statement in June stating that all of the classified material had been returned to the government, the New York Times reported, citing four unnamed individuals.
This document is said to have been handed over to the Ministry of Justice.
However, during a search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in the US state of Florida on Monday, the FBI federal police confiscated several top-secret documents.
According to an FBI list, the agents also found Top Secret/SCI documents, which can only be viewed in special government facilities.
Four of the confiscated sets of documents were classified as »Top Secret«, three more as »Secret«, and the remaining three as »Confidential«.
The Washington Post reported that the FBI was also looking for classified documents about nuclear weapons.
In doing so, the ex-president may have broken several laws.
The search warrant lists three criminal offenses as possible grounds for possible seizures: collecting, transmitting or losing defense information, removing or destroying official documents, and destroying or altering documents to hamper investigations.
The first count – which falls under the US Espionage Act – carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, the second up to three years and the third up to 20 years.
Trump spoke again on Saturday on the online network Truth Social, which he co-founded.
There the 76-year-old wrote that he had the truth on his side - and if you had the truth on your side, you would ultimately be victorious.
The New York Times quoted a Trump spokesman as saying: "As with every Democrat-sponsored witch hunt, this unprecedented and unnecessary crackdown is being carried out by a media outlet willing to work with suggestive leaks, anonymous sources and no hard facts .«
Attorney General Garland stressed on Thursday that the presumption of innocence applies.
At the same time, he underlined that a federal court had authorized the search "after the necessary determination of sufficient suspicion".
The operation is considered unprecedented in US history.