SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2022
Specifics to date are now in: Every once in a while, it makes sense to get clear on a few basic facts.
With new information released yesterday, it's now possible to say exactly how many classified documents have been recovered from Mar-a-Lago. That includes the specific number of classified documents which were marked "Top Secret."
For the record, such documents were recovered on three separate occasions during this calendar year:
January: In January, Trump's associates returned a large amount of material to the National Archives. Twenty-five documents marked Top Secret were included in those materials.
June: On June 3, Trump's associates returned an additional set of documents to officials from the Justice Department. Seventeen of those documents were marked Top Secret
August: On August 8, FBI agents recovered 103 additional classified documents during a court-authorized search.
Yesterday, specific numbers became available concerning the fruits of that August 8 search. On that day, the FBI recovered 103 classified documents—18 marked Top Secret, 54 marked Secret and 31 marked Confidential.
This lets us report the number of classified documents which have been recovered to date:
Recovered from Mar-a-Lago to date:
Classified documents marked Top Secret: 60
Classified documents marked Secret: 162
Classified documents marked Confidential: 103
In a word, sixty (60) documents marked Top Secret have been recovered to date. According to the available data, 325 classified documents have been recovered in all.
We now restate an important point:
That's just the number of classified documents which have been recovered. There's no way to know if other such documents were taken by Trump and may still be retained, at Mar-a-Lago or elsewhere.
There's no way to know if other such documents have been transferred to other parties. There's no way to know if copies of some or all of these documents have been made at some point.
(In fairness: There's no way to know if these documents were taken for some nefarious purpose, or if their presence at Mar-a-Lago was simply a marker of Donald J. Trump's massive, endemic disorder. Weirdly, the presence of so much lower-level classified material could be seen to cut in Trump's favor.)
Most of the data to which we've referred are included in this DOJ document. (On Wednesday, we linked you to the wrong document. That link has been corrected.) Specifics about the August 8 search became available yesterday, as reported in today's New York Times.
At any rate, those are the basic numbers to date, though only for the classified documents which have been recovered. Once in a while, it doesn't hurt to create a record of such basic facts.
For the record: For the record, 325 is the largest of those numbers. Based upon common understanding, 60 is the number which should cause the most concern.
(Again: Concerning the total number of classified documents taken, that number remains unknown!)