More than a week after searching former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence, FBI agents are still sifting through seized documents, two briefed law enforcement officials told NBC News. of the case.
The FBI Screening Team – a group of agents independent of the overall investigation – is tasked with separating documents covered by solicitor-client privilege from documents deemed irrelevant to the investigation.
Records deemed relevant are turned over to investigators, while those not relevant are returned to Trump. Officials who spoke to NBC News said it was the screening team that determined that Trump’s passports, which he claimed agents had “stolen” during the search, were considered irrelevant and he were returned, as NBC News previously reported.
Officials also said the screening team was checking whether any of the documents or other documents not marked as classified contained classified information.
The lengthy review period underscores the large volume of documents that were seized at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, when FBI agents removed 11 sets of classified documents, some of which were labeled secret and top secret.
The case is ongoing from the FBI’s Washington field office, and former agency officials say counterintelligence agents are likely to be involved.
In a post on his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump said Sunday that the FBI last week “took boxes of ‘attorney-client’ privileged material, as well as ‘executive’ privileged material, which they didn’t knowingly should not have taken”.
Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart in Florida scheduled a hearing Thursday on whether to unseal the affidavit that federal investigators used to support their search warrant after a group of news organizations, including NBC News, filed court documents asking him to release the document. The Justice Department has filed a motion against unsealing the affidavit, arguing it would compromise an ongoing investigation, while Trump’s attorneys have yet to file a motion to take a position.
Kelly O’Donnell contributed.