How to decipher documents in Trump’s FBI raid photo

Some of the “top secret” documents seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate were classified so specifically that FBI agents and federal prosecutors had to obtain special permission just to view them, according to the latest DOJ document. .

A photo of some of the material seized from Trump’s Florida Office 45 shows whitened documents with colored title pages indicating their classified status, including “top secret” and “classified.”

Some of the documents featured in the image that was included in the department’s report late Tuesday evening also bore the less-familiar designation “TS/SCI,” an acronym for confidential information.

“Levels of secrecy ranged from CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET, and some documents included additional confidential sections, meaning very limited distribution,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

“In some cases, even the FBI counterintelligence officers and the DOJ lawyers who conducted the review required additional permissions before they were allowed to view certain documents.”

Some documents taken from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago during an FBI raid were tagged "Top secret."
Some documents seized from the residence of former President Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago during the FBI raid were marked “Top Secret”.
Robert Messiah

Here is a breakdown of the security classifications:

Top secret

This is the highest level of classification and refers to information that, if disclosed, could cause “exceptionally serious harm to national security.”

Information that might be classified as top secret includes nuclear codes or details provided by a confidential person, also known as a spy.

The president and agency leaders are among the few who can officially classify material as top secret.

Documents seized during the raid have colored borders to indicate their classified status.
Documents seized during the raid have colored borders to indicate their secrecy.
Department of Justice via AP

Secret

This classification refers to information that could potentially cause “serious” harm to national security if released to the public.

Confidentially

This is the lowest category of classified information currently in use. It can be expected that the unauthorized release of such materials will cause some damage to national security.

Confidential information

Some of the documents seized during the raid were marked TS/SCI, which stands for top secret classified information.

FBI agents and federal prosecutors had to obtain special permission to view certain documents held at Mar-a-Lago.
FBI agents and federal prosecutors had to obtain special permission to view certain documents held at Mar-a-Lago.
REUTERS/Marco Bello/File photo

This is not considered a separate level of classification, but instead may refer to a single program or method of gathering information, such as intercepted communications from intelligence sources.

Not everyone with a security clearance can have access to TS/SCI documents.

In total, more than 100 classified documents were found in boxes of materials seized by the FBI during the Aug. 8 raid, more than double the number found during a June search of property, federal prosecutors said.

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