Details of search warrant for Trump's Mar-a-lago estate unsealed

A judge unsealed the search warrant revealing that the former president is allegedly being investigated for various violations including the Espionage Act.
42:54 | 08/12/22

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Transcript for Details of search warrant for Trump's Mar-a-lago estate unsealed
TO JOIN OUR BROADCAST NETWORK RIGHT NOW FOR OUR SPECIAL COVERAGE. >> THIS IS AN ABC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT. NOW REPORTING, DAVID MUIR. >> GOOD AFTERNOON, WE ARE COMING ON THE AIR BECAUSE ABC NEWS HAS NOW OBTAINED THE WARRANT USED TO SEARCH FOR A PRESIDENT TRUMP'S MAR-A-LAGO HOME EARLIER THIS WEEK. WE DO KNOW A FEDERAL JUDGE HAD GIVEN FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEYS UNTIL 3 PM EASTERN TODAY TO RESPOND TO ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND'S MOTION TO REDUCE THESE DOCUMENTS. INCLUDING THE PROPERTY RECEIVED ALONG WITH THAT WARRANT. THAT PROPERTY RECEIVES LIST OF THE ITEMS TAKEN FROM THE SITE. THE FORMER PRESIDENT, DONALD TRUMP, OVERNIGHT SAYING HE WOULD NOT OPPOSE RELEASING THE DOCUMENTS. IN FACT, HIS LEGAL TEAM HAVE THE DOCUMENTS IN HAND, IT IS BELIEVED, SINCE EARLIER THIS WEEKEND COULD'VE RELEASED THEM THEMSELVES. ABC NEWS OBTAINING WET APPEARS TO BE THE ACTUAL WARRANTS NOW. ALSO, THE RECEIPT FROM PROPERTY THAT RECEIPT DOESN'T SHOW 11 SETS OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS. IN FACT, ONE SET OF DOCUMENTS ARE MARKED AS CLASSIFIED, FBI DOCUMENTS. REFERRING TO TOP SECRET SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION. MEANING ONLY A SELECT FEW WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO THESE DOCUMENTS. LET'S GET RIGHT TO OUR CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, JONATHAN CARL, TRACKING THIS WITH ME ALL WEEK LONG. AND, JOHN, THIS IS SIGNIFICANT. THEY WANTED TO FIND DOCUMENTS. IT WOULD APPEAR THEY FOUND AT LEAST SOME OF WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR. >> 11 SEPARATE ENTRIES REFERENCING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. AND THEY LIST THE LEVEL OF CLASSIFICATION, AS WELL, DAVID. SECRET, TOP SECRET, AND AS YOU MENTIONED, TOP SECRET STI. ONE OF THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF CLASSIFICATION. SOMETHING THAT FEW PEOPLE IN THE GOVERNMENT OF ACCESS TO. AND MUST ALWAYS BE REVIEWED IN A SECURE LOCATION. SOMETHING OTHER THAN VERY SIGNIFICANT HERE AS IT DESCRIBES THE POTENTIAL STATUTES, THE POTENTIAL LAWS THAT WERE BROKEN. ONE OF THOSE IS THE ESPIONAGE ACT. BUT ANOTHER ONE IS OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. AND THIS DOCUMENT, THE WARRANT, SAYS THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR, AND THIS IS A DIRECT QUOTE, ANY EVIDENCE OF KNOWING ALTERATION, DESTRUCTION, OR CONCEALMENT OF ANY GOVERNMENT OR PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS OF ANY DOCUMENTS WITH CLASSIFIED MARKINGS. SO, THIS SHOWS IT IS ABOUT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AND HANDLING INFORMATION, BUT IT IS ALSO LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. WHICH MEANS THAT THIS COULD BE RELATED TO OTHER INVESTIGATIONS BEYOND HIS HANDLING OF RECORDS. THE JANUARY SIX COMMITTEE HAD PURSUED ALL HIS PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS. IN ONE CASE WHEN IT TO THE SUPREME COURT TO GET ACCESS TO PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS, AND THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES. POTENTIALLY YOU SEE A SITUATION WHERE DONALD TRUMP HAD PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS THAT WERE NOT TURNED OVER IN THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES. AND THEREFORE, NOT TURN OVER TO INVESTIGATORS. AS REQUIRED BY A COURT. >> JOHN CARL, STAY WITH US HERE BECAUSE I WENT BACK ON THE SCREEN FOR FOLLOW QUESTION TO YOU. BACK IN THE, SCREEN THIS GRAPHIC THAT SHOWS THE LEVELS OF CLASSIFICATION HERE. CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS, FOUND TOP SECRET CONFIDENTIAL RECORDS. AND IF YOU GO UP THE LIST, CONFIDENTIAL SECRET. AND THEN WITH JOHN AND I WAS TALKING ABOUT AT THE TOP, THEIR TOP SECRET T S DOCUMENTS, SE I DOCUMENTS. THIS MEANS TOP SECRET, SENSITIVE, COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION. AND JOHN, JUST TO MAKE THIS VERY CLEAR FOR PEOPLE WATCHING US AT, HOME THAT MEANS A VERY SELECT FEW PEOPLE WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATION WOULD EVEN HAVE ACCESS TO THIS, LITTLE IN THE IDEA THAT THESE DOCUMENTS WOULD SOMEHOW END UP IN THE PRESIDENTS HOME AFTER HE LEFT OFFICE. >> TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF HOW HIGHLY CLASSIFIED, DAVID, JARED KUSHNER WHO IS OBVIOUSLY NOT ONLY THE PRESIDENT'S SON-IN-LAW, BUT WAS A VERY SENIOR ADVISER IN THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE, HE ACTUALLY NEVER, DURING THE FOUR YEARS, GOT A SECURITY CLEARANCE THAT ALLOWED HIM TO GET ACCESS TO STI PROGRAMS. AFTER A FIGHT WITH THE CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE TIME. HE EVENTUALLY GOT TOPSECRET CLEARANCE, BUT NOT EVEN JARED KUSHNER HAD THE CLEARANCE TO VIEW AS CIA INTELLIGENCE. SO YES, THIS IS VERY SENSITIVE INTELLIGENCE THAT IS AVAILABLE ONLY TO A SELECT FEW PEOPLE THAT GO THROUGH VERY STRICT BACKGROUND CHECKS TO BE ABLE TO GET ACCESS TO. IN LIMITED CIRCUMSTANCES. >> AND ONE MORE QUICK QUESTION FOR YOU, JOHN, WE'VE BEEN REPORTING ALL WEEK LONG HERE. REPUBLICANS AND CONGRESS SUPPORTERS AT THE FORMER PRESIDENT HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHAT WAS DISCOVERED AT MAR-A-LAGO. THEY HAVE BEEN PRESSING THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ALL WEEK. BUT YOU HAVE REPORTED, FROM THE VERY BEGINNING THAT IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE FORMER PRESIDENT HIMSELF, HIS LEGAL TEAM, HAD THIS LIST THAT HAS NOW BEEN MADE PUBLIC HERE FOR WHAT WE HAVE TO BE MAINTAINED. THEY HAVE THIS LIST SINCE EARLIER THIS WEEK, THEY COULD HAVE IF THEY HAD WANTED TO, ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS ALREADY. >> YEAH, DONALD TRUMP AND HIS LEGAL TEAM COULD HAVE PUT THIS LIST OUT MONDAY. THE TIME STAMP THAT WE HAVE FROM WHEN HE GOT THE LIST OF MATERIALS, THAT WERE TAKEN FROM MAR-A-LAGO, WAS TO THE EGGS BE EXACT,, DAVID 6:19 PM MONDAY. AFTER THAT HE COULD HAVE MADE ANY OF THIS PUBLIC AND CHOSE NOT. TO >> OUR CHIEF JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, PIERRE THOMAS, JOHN, THANK YOU. LET'S TURN TO PIERRE. NOW HERE, WE KNOW THAT MAYOR GARLAND WAS, HE LOATHED TO GO IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA CAMERA. DOESN'T BUT CASES WILL THE UNDERWAY. HE CAME OUT BEFORE THE CAMERA AND OFFERED ONLY A STATEMENT, DID NOT TAKE QUESTIONS SIMPLY TO SAY THAT HE PERSONALLY APPROVED THE SEARCH. HE INDICATED THAT, STRONGLY INDICATED THAT OTHER RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO TRY TO AVOID A SURGE, LIKE WHAT PLAYED OUT IN FRONT OF THE COUNTRY DOWN AT MAR-A-LAGO. AND CLEARLY FRUSTRATED WITH THE THREATS AGAINST ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT, THE FBI IN LIGHT OF THE SEARCH. HE OBVIOUSLY KNEW FULL WELL, PIERRE, WHAT HAD BEEN OBTAINED AT MAR-A-LAGO. THIS LIST WOULD HELP TO MAKE THE CASE AT LEAST FOR NOW THAT THIS WAS NO POLITICAL. WHEN THEY WERE LOOKING TO FIND DOCUMENTS THAT WOULD APPEAR FROM THIS PROPERTY RECEIPT THAT THEY FOUND AT LEAST 11 SETS OF TOP SECRET AND CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS. >> DAVID, MAKE NO MISTAKE, BUT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE IS EXTRAORDINARY. AND I WAS SPEAKING WITH THE SOURCE FAMILIAR WITH THIS CASE, AND THEY MADE IT CLEAR THE SOURCE MADE IT CLEAR, THAT THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT THE FBI JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FELT THAT THEY HAD TO DO. EMPHASIZE, THE PHRASE HAD TO DO. MEANING THAT THEY BELIEVED THAT THERE WAS DOCUMENTS, THERE WERE DOCUMENTS ON THE MAR-A-LAGO PROPERTY THAT WERE CLASSIFIED, TOP SECRET, AND OF A NATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATION. AND THERE CAME A POINT WHEN INFORMATION CAME IN THAT THIS INFORMATION WAS STILL THERE, UNDER QUESTIONABLE SECURITY, AND THIS DECISION WAS MADE WE NEED TO GO GET THIS MATERIAL. AND DAVID, THE LIST HERE THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT, AND YOU MENTIONED A NUMBER OF TIMES THE TS SCI DOCUMENTS. AND I'VE HAD THE ABILITY TO GO TO THE NSA, AND SOME OF THE MORE SECURE FACILITIES IN THE GOVERNMENT. AND WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT, THESE ARE ROOMS THAT ARE IMPERVIOUS TO ELECTRONIC HE'S STRONG PAYING, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE ANY KIND OF ELECTRONIC DEVICE IN THEM. SO IN OTHER WORDS, THIS KIND OF MATERIAL, A MUST BE VIEWED BY ONLY THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT, AND BE IT MUST BE VIEWED IN A CIRCUMSTANCE THAT CANNOT BE PENETRATED, PERIOD. BECAUSE AT THE LEVEL OF SENSITIVITY. AND DAVID, AS YOU MENTIONED, LAW ENFORCEMENT DEEPLY CONCERNED BY ALL OF THE THREATS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE. INCLUDING THE INCIDENT IN CINCINNATI, THAT THEY ARE INVESTIGATING WHETHER THIS MAN WAS MOTIVATED BY THE SURGE OF PRESIDENT, FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PROPERTY. AND THE BOTTOM LINE IS, MAYOR GARLAND FELT STRONGLY THAT THE TIME HAD COME TO SPEAK, AND TO GIVE SOME LEVEL OF INFORMATION ABOUT WHY THEY FELT IT NECESSARY TO GO INTO THE RESORT. >> AND, PIERRE, ONE OF THE OBVIOUS QUESTIONS MOVING FORWARD IN THAT WILL BE SO MANY OF THEM, BUT ONE IS WHO TRANSPORTED THESE DOCUMENTS, WHY WOULD THEY TAKE THEM WITH THEM AFTER LEAVING OFFICE, WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THAT? AND STORING NOT JUST A CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT, BUT MULTIPLE SETS OF THEM AT THE FORMER PRESIDENT'S HOME IN FLORIDA LONG AFTER LEAVING OFFICE? >> DAVID, THAT IS THE MOST CURIOUS QUESTION IN ALL OF THIS. WHY WERE THERE 25 PLUS BOXES OF MATERIALS AT MAR-A-LAGO? AND I AM STRUCK BY THE NUMBER OF INSTANCES WHERE THEY SAY, MISCELLANEOUS SECRET DOCUMENTS. TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS. EVEN ON THE ICE SIHAI DOCUMENTS. BUT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MULTIPLE FILES. WHEN THEY LOOKED INTO THESE FILES, THEY SAW THESE DESIGNATIONS ON THE MATERIAL. THEY ARE LABELED AS SUCH SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW, DO NOT LOOK AT THIS IF YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED. AND SO IT IS AN INCREDIBLE SITUATION THAT WE HAVE. AND WE DON'T YET KNOW ALL OF THE DETAILS BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT YET SEEN THE AFFIDAVIT FOR THE SEARCH WARRANT. WHICH WOULD TELL US IN MORE DETAIL WHY THEY WENT TO THE LENGTHS THAT THEY WENT. BUT THESE STATUES THAT ARE INVOLVED HERE ARE FELONY STATUTES. ESPIONAGE, MISHANDLING OF DOCUMENTS, THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS SITUATION. >> I JUST WANT TO MAKE IT VERY CLEAR FOR THOSE AT HOME WATCHING OUR LIVE COVERAGE HERE. ABC NEWS OBTAINING THE WARRANT MAY USED TO SEARCH FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S HOME IN MAR-A-LAGO EARLIER THIS WEEK, AND THE LIST OF PROPERTY. THE LIST OF ITEMS TAKEN FROM HIS HOME. AND I WANT TO BRING IN JOHN SAM TUCCI WHO HAS REPORTED ON DONALD TRUMP FOR MANY YEARS. BOTH THE CAMPAIGN, AND THE PRESIDENCY, AND NOW THE POST PRESIDENCY. AND, JOHN, YOU ARE TELLING ME BEFORE WE CAME ON THE AIR THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED THROUGH YOUR SOURCING THAT THE TRUMP LEGAL TEAM NOT ONLY PRESIDENT TRUMP OVER NIGHT. SAYING GO AHEAD AND RELEASE THIS, BUT THE LEGAL TEAM AGREED WITH HIM LATE TODAY. >> DAVID, JUST IN THE LAST COUPLE OF MINUTES WE JUST GOT A 3:00 DEADLINE FOR SOME LAWYERS TO RESPOND AND THEY DID. TRUMP'S ATTORNEYS HAVE TOLD THE FEDERAL COURT IN FLORIDA THAT THE FORMER PRESIDENT DOES NOT OBJECT TO THE RELEASE. ONCE THE DOCUMENTS OUT THERE. AND, DAVID, WE SHOULD NOTE THAT THESE ARE DOCUMENTS THAT IT HAS BEEN A BACK AND FORTH CONFIRMATION WITHIN TRUMP'S ORBIT WHETHER OR NOT TO BLOCK THE RELEASE. I MEAN, AS JOHN PIERRE JUST ALLIED FOR OUR VIEWERS, IT'S NOT A GOOD DOCUMENT FOR THE PRESIDENT. THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT ISSUES BROUGHT UP IN THIS DISCLOSURE THAT WE ARE LEARNING NOW BETWEEN ESPIONAGE ACT, THE TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS THAT WERE TAKEN. AND I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU, DAVID, ALL NIGHT I WAS HEARING A VARIETY OF PLANS OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN ON BEHALF OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT. WE ARE GOING TO BLOCK, IT WE ARE NOT GONNA BLOCK. IT BACK AND FORTH, BACK AND FORTH. AND IN THE END, THE ARGUMENT THAT ONE WAS, WELL LET'S JUST GET IT OUT THERE. BECAUSE WE HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE. AND THEN ULTIMATELY IS WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES THIS AFTERNOON. YOU KNOW, THE ONLY OTHER POINT I WOULD BRING UP, DAVID, IS THAT THERE IS A QUESTION AMONG TRUMP'S LOYALISTS OF WHY ALL OF THIS WAS BROUGHT OUT? AND I JUST MENTION THAT WITH PIERRE BUT, SPEAKING TO A SOURCE VERY CLOSE TO THE FORMER PRESIDENT HE SAID, WELL YOU KNOW HIM. HE JUST TAKES EVERYTHING WITH HIM. HE WANTS TO HAVE MEMORABILIA, IN SOME CASES. YOU DO HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION, WHAT IS THE BENEFIT? WHAT IS THE MEMORABILIA BEHIND TOP SECRET INFORMATION? WHAT DID HE PLAN TO DO WITH THAT? AND THAT IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING THAT INVESTIGATORS ARE GOING TO BE ASKING. WE ALREADY KNOW, AS WE REPORTED LAST NIGHT THAT SO MANY OF TRUMP'S AIDES HAVE BEEN BROUGHT IN, HAVE BEEN QUESTIONED, AND IN SOME CASES, DAVID, CERTAIN INDIVIDUAL MULTIPLE TIMES BY FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. SO IF ANYTHING, THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF WHAT IS CERTAINLY GOING TO BE A VERY LONG PROCESS. >> AND, CERTAINLY OUR AUDIENCE WATCHING RECOGNIZES THAT ONLY THESE DOCUMENTS BELONG TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, AND NOT ANY FORMER PRESIDENT ONCE THEY LEAVE OFFICE. JOHN, ONE MORE QUESTION TO YOU. YOU TALK ABOUT THE DEBATE OVERNIGHT. OBVIOUSLY, BOTH A LEGAL DEBATE AND A POLITICAL BAIT, BUT EVEN THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF, THE FORMER PRESIDENT DEMANDING ANSWERS ALL WEEK LONG. PUBLICLY. HIS SUPPORTERS DEMANDING ANSWERS, REPUBLICAN LEADERS ON THE HILL DEMANDING ANSWERS. WOULDN'T HAVE LOOKED STRANGE FOR THE FORMER PRESIDENT TO HAVE BLOCKED THIS, GIVEN THE FACT THAT HE HAD MANY OF THESE ANSWERS ALL WEEK LONG? >> AND, DAVID, THAT IS ONE OF MANY QUESTIONS WE HAVE BEEN ASKING AND MANY PEOPLE CLOSE TO THE FORMER PRESIDENT HAVE BEEN ASKING THAT QUESTION TO. LOOK, YOU HAVE TO RECOGNIZE, AS WE ALL DO, IN SOME WAYS THE TRUMP WORLD HAS SUCCEEDED IN SPINNING THIS AS A GOOD NARRATIVE FOR THEM. THEY HAVE BEEN BLASTING OUT EMAILS EVERY HOUR IN SOME CASES TRYING TO CASH IN ON THE BENEFITS OF JOE BIDEN'S GOVERNMENT IN THEIR WORDS GOING AFTER THEM. SO, IT DOES BRING INTO QUESTION AS TO, WELL WHY WOULDN'T YOU PUT THIS OUT THERE SOONER IF YOU HAD NOTHING TO HIDE? IT IS DEFINITELY GOING TO BE A QUESTION THAT MANY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LOOK INTO. AND I DO THINK, DAVID, IT IS ALSO THAT QUESTION OF HOW DID THE FBI LEARN ABOUT THIS? WE KNOW FROM ALL OF OUR REPORTING OVER THE YEARS ON DONALD TRUMP'S TEAM, IF THERE IS ONE THING THAT DONALD TRUMP OBSESSES OVER, IT IS THE LEAKS. IT IS THE HUNT. I REMEMBER BACK DURING THE FIRST CAMPAIGN, THEY WERE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO HAD WIRE TAPS IN THE CAMPAIGN OFFICES. THIS IS NOT NEW BEHAVIOR. THIS IS DONALD TRUMP, PRE-PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS. ALWAYS OBSESSING ABOUT WHO IS OUT THERE TRYING TO GET HIM. SO, YOU HAVE GOT TO WONDER AS WELL, DAVID, WHAT IS HAPPENING INSIDE TRUMP'S CLOSE-KNIT TEAM. WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THAT MONSTER RIGHT NOW WITH FORMER PRESIDENT IS CERTAINLY WATCHING COVERAGE OF PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THE NEW INFORMATION WE HAVE LEARNED TODAY. THEY HAVE GOT TO BE WONDERING, WHO WAS THAT PERSON, OR PERSONS THAT TOLD THE FBI WHERE TO GO FIND THESE DOCUMENTS? >> JOHNSON TURKEY WITH, US WHO COVERED DONALD TRUMP FOR MANY YEARS FOR US -- I WANT TO BRING IN OUR CHIEF LEGAL ANALYST DAN ABRAMS HERE. DAN, YOU'VE BEEN STILL -- CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THESE CRIMINAL STATUTES THAT HAVE BEEN REVEALED AND WHAT WE HAVE NOW OBTAINED. HERE >> IS THE THING THAT'S MOST STRIKING ABOUT THESE CRIMINAL STATUTES IS FOR TWO OF THE THREE STATUTES THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED HERE, YOU MAY NOT EVEN NEED FOR THE DOCUMENTS TO HAVE BEEN QUOTE UNQUOTE CLASSIFIED. ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS THE TRUMP TEAM IS MAKING IS THAT THE PRESIDENT DECLASSIFIED ALL OF THIS. AND THE PRESIDENT DOES HAVE THE POWER -- NOT AFTER THE FACT -- TO DECLASSIFY JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. THERE IS A DISCUSSION OR A DEBATE ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS AND IF THERE IS A PROCESS THAT HAS TO MOVE FORWARD UPON DOING THAT. BUT PUTTING THAT ASIDE FOR A MINUTE, TWO OF THE THREE STATUTES ISSUED WOULDN'T EVEN REALLY MATTER THAT MUCH. I MEAN, ONE OF THE STATUTES, U.S. CODE 15 19, RELATES TO THE DISCRETION, ALTERATION, OR FALSIFICATION OF RECORDS. AND YOU ARE TALKING THERE ABOUT SOMEONE WHO IS CONCEALING, MUTILATING, DESTROYING RECORDS, DOCUMENTS, OR TANGIBLE OBJECTS, ET CETERA. THAT IS THE STATUTE I AM SINGULARLY MOST INTERESTED IN HERE, AS TO WHAT THEY MAY HAVE. YOU'VE HEARD REFERENCE TO THE ESPIONAGE ACT AS WELL. THAT, BY THE WAY, THE SAME PARTICULAR PROVISION THAT CAME UP IN THE CONTEXT OF THE HILLARY CLINTON INVESTIGATION, THIS IS ONE THAT DOESN'T SPECIFICALLY HAVE TO RELATE TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. IT CAN RELATE TO ANYTHING RELATED TO THE NATIONAL DEFENSE. IF A PERSON CAN, QUOTE, THROUGH GROSS NEGLIGENCE REMOVE IT FROM ITS PROPER PLACE OF QUALITY -- THAT COULD BE A VERY SERIOUS FELONY THERE. I GUESS AS I LOOK AT THESE STATUTES, I'M FOCUSED LESS ON THE QUESTION THAT THE TRUMP TEAM HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT, WHICH IS THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE DOCUMENTS, WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY VERY IMPORTANT IN A MACRO PICTURE, BUT IN A STRICTLY LEGAL SENSE, TWO OF THESE THREE STATUTES MAY NOT EVEN BE THE CRITICAL QUESTION. >> DAN ABRAMS TRACKING THIS ALL WEEK LONG WITH US AS WELL. STAY WITH US HERE. I WANT TO BRING IN JOHN COHEN, FORMERLY WITH THE FBI, CURRENT ABC NEWS CONSULTANT. OBVIOUSLY, FOR THE BIGGER PICTURE HERE, WE'VE BEEN TALKING AT GREAT LENGTH ABOUT THE LEVEL OF CLASSIFICATION OF THESE DOCUMENTS. FOR THOSE WATCHING AT HOME, 11 SETS OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AMONG THE PROPERTY TAKEN FROM MAR-A-LAGO EARLIER THIS WEEK. AND AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, ONE SET OF DOCUMENTS MARKED AS CLASSIFIED, INCLUDING THESE TOP SECRET SCI DOCUMENTS, AN ABBREVIATION FOR SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION. JOHN, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN ANY OF US ON THE AIR RIGHT NOW THAT THAT MEANS A VERY SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE WOULD EVER HAVE HAD ACCESS TO THOSE DOCUMENTS, AND IN VERY SPECIFIED LOCATIONS, CERTAINLY NOT THE RESIDENTS OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT. >> YOU ARE RIGHT, DAVID. SCI INFORMATION OR INTELLIGENCE IS HIGHLY SENSITIVE, AND IT IS MARKED OR CLASSIFIED AS TOP SECRET SCI AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT THAT THE DISCLOSURE OF THAT INFORMATION COULD DO GRAVE HARM TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE UNITED STATES. BUT LET ME JUST SAY, THE SECURITY CLEARANCE, I'VE HAD MOST MY CAREER, BUT -- ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, YOU MAKE A COMMITMENT TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND THE U.S. PEOPLE THAT YOU WILL SAFEGUARD THE SECURITY OF THAT INFORMATION FROM INAPPROPRIATE DISCLOSURE, WHETHER INTENTIONAL OR UNINTENTIONAL. THAT'S WHY THERE ARE SUCH STRICTER RULES GOVERNING HOW THAT INFORMATION IS STORED, WHERE IT CAN BE LOOKED AT, HOW IT CAN BE TRANSPORTED. I AM SURE THAT INVESTIGATORS ARE VERY -- WOULD BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION THAT WAS TRANSPORTED FROM THE WHITE HOUSE IN AN UNSECURED WAY TO MAR-A-LAGO, AND THEY WOULD BE CONCERNED THAT THAT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION WOULD BE UNINTENTIONALLY OR EVEN WORSE INTENTIONALLY DISCLOSED TO THOSE WHO INTEND THE UNITED STATES HARM. >> I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WATCHING AT HOME ARE GOING TO BE SCRATCHING THEIR HEADS. IS THIS SIMPLY SOPPY? IS THERE SOMETHING MORE SINISTER GOING ON HERE? THAT'S A QUESTION YOU CAN'T ANSWER. BUT WHY WOULD A FORMER PRESIDENT TAKE BOXES OF DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING SO MUCH OF WHAT'S BEEN FOUND HERE TO BE MARKED AS CLASSIFIED AND TOP SECRET, NOT JUST TOP SECRET, BUT THE HIGHEST CLASSIFICATION OF DOCUMENTS THAT WOULD ONLY BE SEEN AGAIN BY A SELECT FEW? >> IT IS PERPLEXING. THAT IS PROBABLY THE QUESTION THAT THE INVESTIGATORS ARE LOOKING AT CLOSELY. WHAT THEY WILL WANT TO MAKE SURE IS THAT THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO PROVIDE THOSE DOCUMENTS OR THAT INFORMATION TO A FOREIGN POWER WHO SEEKS TO INJURE OR CREATE HARM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES. THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE REASON WHY THESE INVESTIGATIONS ARE DONE. THIS ISN'T SOME SUPERFICIAL ISSUE ABOUT SOMEBODY ACCIDENTALLY TAKING HOME SOME DOCUMENTS THEY SHOULDN'T TAKE HOME. THE KEY QUESTION INVESTIGATORS WILL BE SEEKING TO ANSWER IS WERE THOSE DOCUMENTS REMOVED FROM THE WHITE HOUSE INTENTIONALLY, AND WERE THEY REMOVED WITH THE INTENTION TO PROVIDE THEM TO A FOREIGN POWER OR SOME OTHER ENTITY THAT DID NOT -- SHOULD NOT HAVE ACCESS TO THAT INFORMATION? >> LET ME ASK YOU, IF INVESTIGATORS CONCLUDE AT THE END OF THIS INVESTIGATION THAT THERE WAS NO SINISTER PLOT HERE, NO PLAN TO USE THOSE DOCUMENTS ARE TO PROVIDE THEM TO FOREIGN ADVERSARIES OR ANY OTHER SCENARIOS THAT YOU JUST LAID OUT, IF THEY DETERMINED THAT THAT IS NOT THE CASE, AT THE VERY LEAST, THERE ARE SERIOUS QUESTIONS STILL ABOUT WHY DOCUMENTS OF THIS LEVEL OF CLASSIFICATION WOULD END UP NOT ONLY LEAVING THE WHITE HOUSE, BUT LEAVING THESE VERY SECURE LOCATIONS WHERE SMALL GROUPS OF PEOPLE WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. >> YES, ABSOLUTELY. EVEN IF THERE IS NO ATTEMPT TO PROVIDE THEM TO A FOREIGN POWER OR ANOTHER ORGANIZATION FOR ILLICIT PURPOSES, THERE ARE STILL REQUIREMENTS UNDER LAW THAT PREVENT OR THAT SANCTION THE INAPPROPRIATE HANDLING OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. REMEMBER SANDY BERGER GOT INTO TROUBLE BECAUSE SHE REMOVED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION FROM THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES. SO FOR EVERYBODY EXCEPT FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, THIS TYPE OF ACTIVITY WOULD RESULT -- HIGHLY LIKELY WOULD RESULT IN NEVER BEING ABLE TO ACCESS CLASSIFIED INFORMATION EVER EVER AGAIN. THE PRESIDENT IS A UNIQUE ANIMAL IN THE WORLD OF CLASSIFICATION, AND CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS. SO THE ONLY WAY THAT I CAN PRESENT THAT DONALD TRUMP WILL EVER REGAIN ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AGAIN -- IS TO BE REELECTED AS PRESIDENT. >> THAT'S A BIG IF. JOHN COHEN, FORMALLY WITH THE FAA, AND ABC NEWS ANALYSTS THAT RETURN TO OFTEN. THIS ONE IS EXTREMELY UNPRECEDENTED. JOHN, THANK YOU. I WANT TO BRING IN OUR CHIEF POLITICAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT MARTHA RABBITS -- , WE NEED TO REFRESH OUR MEMORIES ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO FORMER PRESIDENTS GET AUTOMATIC CLEARANCE OR THAT IS SIMPLY STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE AND A CURRENT SITTING PRESIDENT WOULD DECIDE WHETHER THE IMMEDIATE FORMER PRESIDENT WOULD HAVE ACCESS, AND YOU LEARNED SOMETHING RATHER ENLIGHTENING HERE. >> THEY DON'T GET AN AUTOMATIC SECURITY CLEARANCE WHEN THEY LEAVE OFFICE. IN FACT, THE ONLY REASON THEY GET -- BECAUSE HE WAS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. AND JOE BIDEN VERY EARLY ON DECIDED THAT DONALD TRUMP WOULD NO LONGER HAVE INTELLIGENCE. IF YOU LOOK OVER HISTORY, PRESIDENTS AFFORDED THAT OPPORTUNITY TO FORMER PRESIDENTS, JUST SORT OF A COURTESY, YES, IF YOU NEED AN INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING ON SOMETHING, YOU CAN HAVE IT. BUT NOT WITH DONALD TRUMP. THE ONLY REASON HE OBTAINED THE SECURITY CLEARANCE IS BECAUSE HE WAS ELECTED PRESIDENTS. -- JOHN BRENNAN, THEY CAN MAINTAIN THAT SECURITY CLEARANCE, AFTER THEY LEAVE, BUT THEY HAVE TO HAVE IT REFRESHED. THEY ARE INVESTIGATED. THEY OBTAIN THAT SECURITY CLEARANCE THROUGH A VETTING. IN THIS CASE, WITH DONALD TRUMP, IT IS VERY DIFFERENT. HE NO LONGER HAS A SECURITY CLEARANCE. I ALSO WANT TO BRING UP ONE OF THE THINGS THE WORLD IS WATCHING, WITH THESE DOCUMENTS, IS HOW THAT INTELLIGENCE WAS OBTAINED. THAT'S IN THE SECRET DOCUMENTS AS WELL NORMALLY. HOW YOU OBTAINED THAT INTELLIGENCE. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT TRULY CONCERNS THE FBI AND OTHERS. >> JUST TO UNDERSCORE ANOTHER POINT HERE, MARTHA, JUST STICK WITH, US I WANT TO ASK, YOU GIVEN YOUR TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD WITH LEADERS OF THIS COUNTRY AND OTHERS, YOU'VE SEEN AND THEM AS THEY GO INTO THESE VERY SECURE LOCATIONS. PIERRE ALLUDED TO THIS EARLIER, WHERE YOUR CELL PHONE WON'T EVEN WORK, WHERE ALL ELECTRONICS ARE SORT OF JAMMED IN THAT MOMENT TO PROTECT, JUST AS YOU SAY, INTELLIGENCE GATHERING. HOW WE RECEIVED THE INFORMATION, HOW THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES -- THE IDEA THAT THERE WOULD BE NOT JUST A DOCUMENT OR TWO, BUT 11 SETS OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS ALL THE WAY UP TO THE VERY TOP SECRET CLASSIFICATION FOUND OFF THE PROPERTY, NOT ONLY OF THE WHITE HOUSE, BUT IF SECURE LOCATIONS AT THE WHITE HOUSE, WOULD SEEM TO BE EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT TODAY. >> IT IS EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT. THE SO-CALLED SCIFS, THE VARIOUS AREAS WHERE THEY CAN GO IN AND READ THESE DOCUMENTS -- DONALD TRUMP HAD WANTED MAR-A-LAGO WHEN HE WAS PRESIDENT A SMALL AREA THAT THEY FELT WAS SECURE, THAT WAS PROTECTED. THAT WAS, OF COURSE, TAKEN DOWN AS SOON AS HE WAS NO LONGER PRESIDENT. THESE SCIFS ARE ALL OVER THE WORLD, IN EMBASSIES, IN DIFFERENT AGENCIES, IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND THEY ARE SPECIFIC STANDARD -- HOW THEY ARE SET UP, WHO CAN GO IN THERE, AND WHEN THEY CAN READ. >> MARTHA RADDATZ WITH US. YOU'VE BEEN WATCHING HERE ON ABC NEWS, WE HAVE OBTAINED THE SEARCH WARRANT USED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO SEARCH MAR-A-LAGO EARLIER THIS WEEK. THE FORMER PRESIDENTS HOME, AS YOU CAN SEE ON YOUR SCREEN, THIS IS ON THE LIST, THE PROPERTY RECEIPT, THAT CAME WITH THE SEARCH WARRANT. EXPECTED TO BE MADE PUBLIC THIS AFTERNOON, 11 SETS OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, INCLUDING SOME MARKED AS TOP SECRET, AND EXECUTIVE GRANT OF CLEMENCY FOR ROGER STONE, INFORMATION, NOTES ABOUT THE PRESIDENT OF FRANCE, BINDERS OF PHOTOS, 27 BOXES IN ALL. AGAIN, AN EXTREME FOCUS HERE ON -- AS WE GET OUR FIRST LOOK AT THE WARRANT AND THE LIST OF UNCLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS, THE LEVEL OF CLASSIFICATION -- I WANT TO BRING IN OUR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, ERIC KATERSKY, WHO'S BEEN WORKING ON THIS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK. PEOPLE AT HOME WILL WONDER, YOU ARE GIVEN THIS WARREN, YOU KNOW THROUGH ABC NEWS REPORT, THAT THE FBI THAT THE FBI NOTIFIED THE SECRET SERVICE TO MAR-A-LAGO. THEY DID NOT NOTIFY THE STAFF UNTIL MOMENTS BEFORE THE FBI MOVED IN. A QUESTION MANY PEOPLE HAVE HAD IS ONCE THEY GO IN WITH THE WAR, AND LOOKING SPECIFICALLY FOR WHATEVER THE LIST IS, IF THEY FIND OTHER THINGS DURING THAT SURGE, IS IT FAIR GAME? >> NOT ALWAYS, DAVID. AND IN FACT, THE FBI AGENTS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEARCH THE ENTIRETY OF THE PROPERTY. THEY WERE GIVEN A FAIRLY WIDE BERTH, ACCORDING TO THE SEARCH WARRANT DOCUMENT THAT -- IT SHOWS THAT THE FBI AGENTS COULD SEARCH FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP'S OFFICE, LABELED A 45 OFFICE. ANY STORAGE ROOM. ANY FACILITY REALLY WHERE BOXES OR DOCUMENTS COULD BE STORED. OFF LIMITS WERE ROOMS THAT WERE USED BY MEMBERS OF THE GOLF CLUB AT MAR-A-LAGO, AND ALSO PRIVATE GUEST SUITES USED BY THE FORMER PRESIDENT AND HIS STAFF. THE AGENTS WERE NOT ALLOWED TO SEARCH IN THOSE LOCATIONS, DAVID. >> ERIC KATERSKY WITH US LIVE HERE. THANK YOU. I WANT TO BRING BACK IN OUR CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT JONATHAN CARL. ABC NEWS LEARNING THAT THE JUDGE HAS MOVED FORWARD, ABOUT TO RELEASE THESE DOCUMENTS, EXPECTED AT ANY MOMENT, GIVEN THE FACT THAT MERRICK GARLAND CAME BEFORE THE CAMERAS AND SAID THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS SAID, RELEASED A WARRANT. HE SAID, OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE OF INTEREST IN THIS COUNTRY, IT WAS AN UNDERSTATEMENT WHEN HE DELIVERED THAT STATEMENT, AN UNDERSTATEMENT INDEED GIVEN THE FACT THAT THIS IS ON PRESIDENT, HISTORIC, INVOLVING A FORMER PRESIDENT. MERRICK GARLAND -- VERY EARLY THIS WEEK, THAT THE FORMER PRESIDENT HAD THE WARRANT AND HAND, THE LIST OF PROPERTY, AT THIS'S LEGAL TEAM DID, AND COULD HAVE RELEASED IT THEMSELVES. WE LEARNED OVERNIGHT FROM THE FORMER PRESIDENT HIMSELF THAT HE WOULD NOT BLOCK IT, AND FROM JOHNSON TUCCI HERE MOMENTS AGO, REPORTING THAT THE LEGAL TEAM -- AT THE END OF THE DAY TODAY, AFTER DEBATE, POLITICAL DEBATE, LEGAL DEBATE WITHIN THAT TEAM, WOULD NOT STAND IN THE WAY OF THIS BEING RELEASED, EXPECTED AT ANY MOMENT. NOW AND GIANNA WANT TO COME BACK TO YOU BECAUSE YOU'VE ALSO BEEN REPORTING ALL WEEK LONG ON REACTION FROM LEADERSHIP ON THE HILL, PARTICULARLY FROM REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP, DEFENDING THE FORMER PRESIDENT, DEMANDING ANSWERS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. AND I'M CURIOUS, IT'S PROBABLY TOO EARLY TO KNOW WHAT'S THE REACTION TO THIS WILL BE, BUT THIS WILL BE AN EVOLUTION OF THEIR DEFENSE OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT, GIVEN THE LIST AND EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A SOMEWHAT GENERIC LIST, WE KNOW 11 SETS OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION, INCLUDING THESE VERY TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS, HOW THAT WILL BE DEFENDED ON THE HILL. YOU KNOW, IT WILL BE ANOTHER TEST. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY. OF JUST HOW DEVOTED REPUBLICANS ARE, AND REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY AND AUTHORITY ARE TO DONALD TRUMP REGARDLESS OF THE FACTS. IT WAS STRIKING, DAVID, TO SEE REPUBLICAN LEADERS, INCLUDING THE REPUBLICAN LEADER IN THE HOUSE AT THE VERY TOP REPUBLICAN IN THE HOUSE WHO MAY WELL BE THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE COME NEXT YEAR. KEVIN MCCARTHY. ON MONDAY EVENING, I MEAN JUST AFTER NEWS OF THIS EXECUTION OF THE SEARCH WARRANT HAPPENED ON MONDAY, COME OUT AND ATTACK THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO SUGGEST THAT THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WAS ACTING IN A POLITICAL WAY, AND TO ESSENTIALLY THREATEN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES TELLING HIM TO KEEP HIS CALENDAR CLEAR, AND TO PRESERVE HIS DOCUMENTS BECAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO BE INVESTIGATING IF THE REPUBLICANS. HE ACTUALLY SAID, WHEN REPUBLICANS TAKE OVER THE HOUSE. WE HAVEN'T HEARD FROM MCCARTHY AT TODAY. AT LEAST I HAVEN'T. BUT WHAT YOU HAVE IN THIS WARRANT, AND IN THIS LIST OF ITEMS TAKEN IT'S CLEARLY FROM THE FBI. AND THE FAA UNLESS THE FBI IS MAKING THINGS UP WHICH IS AN OUTRAGEOUS THING TO SAY. HOW ARE REPUBLICAN LEADERS GOING TO RESPOND TO THE FACT THAT DONALD TRUMP HAD SO MUCH MATERIAL, 22 BOXES IN ALL, 11 AM SORRY 27 BOXES IN. 11 BOXES CONTAINING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION. SOME OF THE INFORMATION AT THE TOP OF THE SECRET FBI LEVEL. WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO SAY NOW? ARE THEY GOING TO CONTINUE TO, WITHOUT ANY FURTHER EVIDENCE, DEFEND TRUMP AT ALL COSTS AND TO ATTACK THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE? OR ARE THEY GOING TO SAY, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE LOOKED? AT >> THAT IS GOING TO BE THE REAL TEST, AND YOU WILL REPORT THAT OUT EVEN IN THE HOURS AHEAD, JOHN. WHILE YOU'RE REPORTING THERE, WE SHOULD NOTE THAT IN ORDER TO THE ORDER TO UNSEAL CAME THROUGH FROM THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE. RUTH REINHARDT, THE UNITED STATES MOVES TO UNSEAL THE SEARCH AND SEIZURE WARRANT. THEY GO ON TO SAY THAT THE COURT HAVING REVIEWED THE MOTION, BEING OTHERWISE FULLY ADVISED, IS ORDERING THAT THE MOTION IS GRANTED. DONE, AND ORDERED. SO AS WE CAME ON THE AIR, ABC NEWS HAD OBTAINED THE WARRANT. THE LIST OF PROPERTIES SEIZED FROM MAR-A-LAGO. WHILE WE HAVE BEEN ON THE AIR, THAT HAS NOW BEEN RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC FROM THE JUDGE INVOLVED IN THIS CASE. I WANT TO BRING BACK IN OUR CHIEF JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT, PIERRE THOMAS, WHO COVERS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR US THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. AND, PIERRE THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS MONDAY. IT SEEMS LIKE IT WAS WEEKS AGO, BUT IT WAS ONLY A FEW DAYS AGO, ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT MERRICK GARLAND COULD TALK AT ALL IN THIS CASE. GENERALLY, AS THIS PRESIDENT GENERALS DO NOT TALK WITH A CASE IS UNDERWAY. HE DID COME FORWARD, BEFORE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, SAYING I WILL MAKE A STATEMENT. BECAUSE IT WAS THE FORMER PRESIDENT HIMSELF WHO, ON MONDAY EVENING WENT PUBLIC WITH THE SEARCH. AT MAR-A-LAGO. AND HE CAME FORWARD TO TELL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT HE PERSONALLY APPROVED AT THIS, AND INDICATED THAT SEVERAL OTHER ROUTES HAVE BEEN TAKEN BEFORE THIS VERY PUBLIC ROUTE OF SEARCHING THE RESIDENTS OF A FORMER PRESIDENT. AND, HE ALSO MADE IT CLEAR, MERRICK GARLAND DID, THAT HE WOULD PUSH FOR THIS TO BE RELEASED GIVEN THE FACT THAT THERE'S BEEN SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THE FBI WAS LOOKING FOR. OBVIOUSLY THE FORMER PRESIDENT, PIERRE, COULDN'T REVEAL THAT. HE WAS GIVEN THAT LIST THAT VERY DAY. BUT NOW AS WE HAVE BEEN ON THE AIR HERE, THAT LIST HAS BEEN MADE PUBLIC FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. >> DAVID, IT HAS. AND I AM LOOKING AT THE WARRANT, AND THE INVENTORY. IT MATCHES THE EARLIER REPORTING THAT WE HAD TO A TEE. IT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE DOCUMENT THAT WE WERE ABLE TO REVIEW. THOUGH, IT IS DONE. IT IS RELEASED. IT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING. AND, DAVID, YOU MAKE A VERY RELEVANT POINT. THIS IS A FORMER LIEUTENANT JUDGE. HE IS EXTREMELY CAREFUL ABOUT HOW HE CONDUCTS BUSINESS. HE TALKS OFTEN ABOUT THE RULE OF LAW. BUT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I SHOULD MAKE NOTE OF ABOUT MERRICK GARLAND. ALTHOUGH HE IS QUIET AND LOW-KEY, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT THE MAN IS VIEWED IN MANY CIRCLES AS INCREDIBLY TOUGH. AND THE EXAMPLE THAT I WOULD GIVE YOU IS THAT, HE WAS THE LEAD INVESTIGATOR INVOLVING THE OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT. AND THAT CASE HAD A LOT OF CONTROVERSY TIED TO IT, IN TERMS OF HOW WIDE THE CONSPIRACY WAS. AND I REMEMBER AT THE TIME, HE WAS DOG IT IN JUST SAYING, WE WILL GO AFTER THE FACT. WE WILL CHARGE THOSE PEOPLE WHO WERE INVOLVED, AND MANY PEOPLE WANTED A VAST CONSPIRACY. MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE TO BE CHARGED. THAT IS NOT ULTIMATELY WHAT THEY FOUND. AND HE WAS WILLING TO LIVE WITH THAT. SO HE IS A PERSON WHO SPEAKS SOFTLY, BUT HE DOES HAVE SIGNIFICANT RESOLVE. AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT THERE HAS BEEN SOME LEVEL OF FRUSTRATION WITH PEOPLE SAYING THAT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN DRAGGING ITS FEET. WITH REGARD TO ANYTHING INVOLVING FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP. HIS ANSWER, AND THOSE CLOSE TO HIM, HAS BEEN WE WILL FOLLOW THE FACTS AND YOU WILL SEE THE RESULTS AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME. >> PARTICULARLY GIVEN THE HISTORIC NATURE OF WHAT WE HAVE WATCHED UNFOLD THIS WEEK, AND IN THESE POLARIZED TIMES, I CAN SAY, PIERRE, THIS ENTIRE TEAM EVERYONE HAS BEEN SO CAREFUL AND STUDY ALL WEEK LONG IN REPORTING THIS OUT. THE RECEIPT FOR PROPERTY NOW UP ON YOUR SCREEN. AND THAT DOES MATCH WHEN A BC NEWS HAD OBTAINED BEFORE WE CAME ON THE AIR HERE A SHORT TIME AGO. AGAIN, INCLUDED IN THAT LIST, 11 SETS OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING SOME MARKED AS TOP SECRET. AND AS WE HAVE REPORTED, IN-DEPTH HERE THAT MEANS IT IS MEANT TO BE ONLY SEEN IN SPECIAL GOVERNMENT FACILITIES BY A SELECT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WITHIN A CURRENT ADMINISTRATION. SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS, ON SO MUCH OF WHAT WAS DISCOVERED. BUT IN PARTICULAR, THOSE TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS, HOW THEY EVER MADE THEIR WAY TO MAR-A-LAGO TO THE RESIDENTS OF A FORMER PRESIDENT. I WANT TO BRING BACK IN, DAN ABRAMS, AS WE LOOK AT THIS RECEIVER PROPERTY. AND, DAN, WE KNEW THE WARRANTS WOULD BE SOMEWHAT GENERIC IN NATURE, AND THE LIST OF PROPERTY. BUT IT IS ALSO STRIKING WHAT WE CAN GLEAN FROM WHAT HAS BEEN RELEASED. >> YEAH, I HAVE TO SAY THAT THERE IS ACTUALLY A LITTLE BIT MORE DETAIL THAN I HAD EXPECTED WOULD BE THE TWO APPENDIX'S THAT ARE ATTACHED. BECAUSE SOMETIMES YOU WILL SEE A SEARCH WARRANT THAT IS MUCH MORE GENERIC THAN THIS ONE. THE THING THAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR PRIMARILY WAS, WHAT'S STATUTES? WHAT POSSIBLE CRIMES WERE THEY INVESTIGATING HERE? AND REMEMBER, A JUDGE SIGNED OFF ON THIS WARRANT WITH PROBABLE CAUSE THAT A CRIME WAS COMMITTED. IN ORDER TO GET THIS SEARCH WARRANT, THE GOVERNMENT HAD TO PROVE TO THE JUDGE THAT THERE WAS PROBABLE CAUSE. A CRIME WAS COMMITTED, AND THAT THERE WAS A LIKELY HEARD THAT THERE WOULD BE EVIDENCE FOUND. THAT WAS THE BURDEN THAT THEY FIRST HAD TO ACHIEVE. THAT INFORMATION IS LARGELY IN THE AFFIDAVIT, WHICH WE DO NOT HAVE. BUT IN THIS WARRANT ITSELF, BEING ABLE TO SEE A, THE STATUTES THAT THEY WERE INVESTIGATING, AND BE, THAT THE ITEMS THAT THEY COLLECTED, AND I THINK THE DETAIL THAT WE ARE GETTING, THAT MAYBE I WASN'T EXPECTING, WAS THE LEVEL OF CLASSIFICATION ON THE VARIOUS DOCUMENTS. I EXPECTED THAT MAYBE THERE WOULD BE REFERENCES TO X NUMBER OF DOCUMENTS WERE FOUND HERE. AND AS WE SEE, IN SOME PARTS OF THE WAR INTO TALKS ABOUT A BOX WITH A NUMBER ON IT. IT DOESN'T SPECIFY THAT THERE IS SPECIFICATION HERE. THERE'S SOME SPECIFICITY, I SHOULD SAY HERE. WITH REGARD TO YOU THE CLASSIFICATION, TOP SECRET NATURE OF AT LEAST 11 SETS OF DOCUMENTS. SO THAT IS A LITTLE BIT SURPRISING AND CERTAINLY PROVIDES US WITH A LITTLE BIT MORE INFORMATION THAN I HAD EXPECTED. >> AND CERTAINLY, TWO DEFENDERS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK IS SAID THAT THIS BETTER NOT BE ABOUT A BOX FOUND IN A BASEMENT IN MAR-A-LAGO. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THIS LIST OF PROPERTY, DAN, SHOW SOMETHING FAR MORE SIGNIFICANT THAN WHAT MANY DEFENDERS WERE LIKELY HOPING FOR EARLIER IN THE WEEK. >> LOOK, DAVID, I WOULD SAY IT IS BETTER IF BETTER NOT BE A PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS VIOLATION. THIS BETTER NOT JUST BE BOOKKEEPING, A RECORD KEEPING ISSUE. THAT OH, HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TURN SOME STUFF OVER AND HE DIDN'T TURN IT OVER IN TIME. I SAID THAT ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA, AND I STILL BELIEVE IT. THIS DEFINITELY DOES SUGGEST THAT THERE WAS MORE TO IT. BUT IT IS NOT JUST THE CLASSIFICATION OF THE DOCUMENTS. IT IS ALSO THE FACT, AND YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT THIS, THE FACT THAT WE KNOW THAT THERE WAS A PREVIOUS SUBPOENA ISSUED. MEANING THEY HAD TRIED OTHER WAYS TO GET THIS MATERIAL, AND THAT IS WHY I AM VERY INTERESTED IN THE STATUTE IN PARTICULAR THAT REFERS TO POTENTIALLY CONCEALING INFORMATION. IS THE GOVERNMENT ALLEGING THAT HE WAS INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO HIDE THIS FROM THEM? THAT IS THE SORT OF THING THAT TAKES THIS TO ANOTHER LEVEL. THE LEVEL OF CLASSIFICATION, IS ONE PART. THE SECOND PART IS THE FACT THAT THE GOVERNMENT TRIED TO GET IT ANOTHER WAY. AS AIR MERRICK GARLAND SAID IN HIS PRESS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY, THEY TRIED TO USE THE LEAST INTRUSIVE MEANS AS I ALWAYS DO, HE SAID. AND THAT WAS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THE ONLY WAY. THE FINAL STRAW, SO TO SPEAK. IN TERMS OF GETTING THESE DOCUMENTS BACK. >> DAN ABRAMS, WHO'S BEEN WITH US ALL WEEK LONG. DAN, THANKS. JUST A FEW MOMENTS LEFT IN OUR SPECIAL REPORT, AND AS WE MENTIONED EARLIER, IT BEARS REPEATING. THE FORMER PRESIDENT, HIS LAWYER SAID THAT THEY DID NOT OBJECT TO THE WAR TO PROPERTY RECEIVE BEING RELEASED HERE MID AFTERNOON ON OUR FRIDAY AT THE END OF THE WEEK. IT BEGAN WITH THE SEARCH AT MAR-A-LAGO. JOHN CARL, YOU HAVE REPORTED ALL WEEK LONG, IT WOULD BE SOMEWHAT PECULIAR TO SAY THE LEAST HAD THEY TRIED TO BLOCK THIS KNOWING THE FACT THAT THEY HAD IT IN HAND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEKEND HAD PRESS FOR ANSWERS ON THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ALL WEEK LONG. >> YES. AND DONALD TRUMP HAD GONE OUT ON HIS OWN SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM AND CALLED FOR THE RELEASE. SO IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HARD FOR THEM TO ACTUALLY GO THROUGH AND TRY TO BLOCK IT OUT COURT. SO IT IS OUT. DAVID, AS WE HAVE DISCUSSED, THERE ARE FURTHER DOCUMENTS THAT WOULD DESCRIBE WHY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FELT THE NEED TO GO IN THE WAY THEY DID, AND TO ALSO OUTLINE WHY THEY BELIEVE THERE WAS PROBABLE CAUSE AND WHY A JUDGE AGREED THERE WAS PROBABLE CAUSE THAT THE SEARCH WOULD REVEAL EVIDENCE OF CRIMES. THAT DOCUMENT HAS NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC YET, BUT THERE IS A LAWSUIT BY SEVERAL NEWS ORGANIZATIONS UNDERWAY TO GET THAT RELEASED AS WELL. BUT RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A PRETTY CLEAR PICTURE OF WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND WHY THE FBI, AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DECIDED THAT THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT THEY NEEDED TO DO AND DO VERY QUICKLY. >> AND YOU ARE STANDING IN FROM THE WHITE HOUSE, OBVIOUSLY, VIEWERS AT HOME DON'T NEED ME TO POINT THAT. OUT BUT I BRING THAT UP BECAUSE THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SAID THIS WEEK THAT THEY HAVE NOT BEEN INFORMED THAT THIS SEARCH WAS COMING. UNDERSCORING THE SEPARATION BETWEEN THE WHITE HOUSE, THIS CURRENT PRESIDENT, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. >> BUT BIDEN, PRESIDENT BIDEN HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT MERRICK GARLAND WAS TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS RELATED TO ANYTHING REGARDING THE PREVIOUS PRESIDENT WITH INDEPENDENTS. NO INTERFERENCE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE. DAVID, THEY CLAIM THAT THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT GARLAND WAS HOLDING THAT PRESS CONFERENCE YESTERDAY. AND THAT GARLAND WAS GOING TO CALL FOR THE RELEASE OF THESE DOCUMENTS. THEY SAY THEY HAD BEEN KEPT IN THE DARK BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, AND THAT IS VERY MUCH BY DESIGN. THAT BIDEN BELIEVES THAT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT WANTS TO BE INDEPENDENT ON MATTERS LIKE THIS, AND NOT HAVE ANY POLITICAL INFLUENCE. >> JOHN CARL, ON THE NORTH LAWN OF THE WHITE HOUSE WHERE THEY ARE MOWING THE LAWN AT THIS HOUR. JOHN, THANK. YOU AS WE PORE THROUGH THIS WARRANT AND THIS LIST OF PROPERTIES SEIZED FROM MAR-A-LAGO, I WANT TO BRING BACK IN PIERRE THOMAS, OUR CHIEF JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT. PIERRE, WE ARE GOING TO GO OFF THE AIR AT 4:00 HERE IN THE EAST. FOR MANY OF, YOUR LOCAL NEWS IS STANDING BY. SO STAY TUNED FOR THAT. BUT A KEY QUESTION FOR YOU, PIERRE. JOHN POINTED THIS OUT THAT THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, CURRENT PRESIDENT DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THAT MERRICK GARLAND WAS GOING TO GO BEFORE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE UNTIL THE WHITE HOUSE WAS ASKED BY REPORTERS ABOUT IT ONCE A DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ALERTED US. TO BE READY THAT THE AG WAS ABOUT TO SPEAK. THIS UNDERSCORES AGAIN THE SEPARATION BETWEEN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE PRESIDENT. SO WHAT'S NEXT FOR PEOPLE WATCHING THIS RIGHT NOW? I MEAN WE DON'T EXPECT TO HEAR FROM MERRICK GARLAND ANYTIME SOON, AND IN FACT THIS COULD GO ON FOR WEEKS AND DARE I SAY MONTHS TO COME. >> IT COULD, INDEED. AND I THINK WHAT YOU WILL SEE IS AN EFFORT TO SEE THE AFFIDAVIT FOR THE SEARCH WARRANT AS THE BODY WENT INTO THE PROPERTY. I THINK THAT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT PUSHBACK ON THAT FOR A PERIOD OF TIME BECAUSE THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT THEY MAY NOT WANT PRESIDENT TRUMP, OR PEOPLE AROUND HIM TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE PURSUING. THAT IS A POSSIBILITY. BUT RIGHT NOW THEY ARE GOING TO OVER THESE DOCUMENTS, DAVID, THEY ARE GOING TO LOOK VERY CLOSELY AT THEM TO SEE IF THERE IS ANY SUGGESTION THAT THEY HAVE BEEN ALTERED IN ANY WAY. THEY ARE GOING TO GO BACK TO PEOPLE THAT THEY HAVE INTERVIEWED TO TALK ABOUT WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS, AND THERE IS A LOT MORE WORK TO BE DONE TO ANSWER THE BASIC QUESTION OF WHY. WHY WERE THOSE DOCUMENTS THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. >> AND WITH JUST A FEW MOMENTS LEFT, I WANT TO BRING BACK IN MARTHA ROUNDEST FOR ONE FINAL THOUGHT HERE. MARTHA, THE NOTION OF THESE DOCUMENTS, AND THE LEVEL CLASSIFICATION, JUST TO REMIND OUR AUDIENCE, ONLY CERTAIN PEOPLE WITHIN THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION WILL BE ABLE TO VIEW SOME OF THESE DOCUMENTS. AND THEY WOULD ONLY BE ABLE TO VIEW THEM IN KYIV VERY SELECT PLACES THAT WERE COMPLETELY SECURE FROM OUTSIDE COMMUNICATION. >> EXACTLY, DAVID. EXTREMELY SECURE LOCATIONS, NO ONE COULD MONITOR THEM, NO ONE COULD GET IN. YOU WOULD NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S THAT SPECIFIC INFORMATION WAS. AND JUST READING THAT THE THIS FORMER PRESIDENT THAT THE FBI WANTED TO TAKE PHYSICAL DOCUMENTS CONSTITUTING EVIDENCE, CONTRABAND, FRUITS OF, CRIME OR OTHER EVIDENCE OF -- IN VIOLATION OF THE LAW. THAT IS WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR, THAT IS WHY THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. >> MARTHA RAD, US

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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