Donald Trump ‘likely concealed classified files’ at Mar-a-Lago, says the FBI

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Police direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate (AP)
Police direct traffic outside an entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate (AP)

The US justice department has said classified documents were likely concealed in Donald Trump’s mansion to try and obstruct an FBI probe.

The security service raided the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on August 8 to see if he had wrongfully taken records to the estate after leaving office.

Departing presidents are required to hand over their documents and emails to the US archives upon leaving office. Mr Trump has denied any wrongdoing and called for an independent party to oversee the ongoing case.

The archives office had previously visited in January - preceding the FBI (federal bureau of investigation) probe. This found 15 boxes of White House records at Mar-a-Lago contained files that were “unfoldered” and “intermixed” with other records.

An FBI probe in June then found "dozens of additional boxes" containing classified information still remained at the property. However, agents were "explicitly prohibited" from searching any boxes inside a storage room by Mr Trump’s security.

The documents recovered by the FBI (via REUTERS)
The documents recovered by the FBI (via REUTERS)

More than 100 documents were then found in a raid over a few hours on August 8 - more files than Mr Trump’s team said could be gathered from their own search.

The BBC has reported that the justice department's counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt said the findings "cast doubt on the extent of [Mr Trump’s] cooperation in this matter".

Mr Bratt added that the FBI’s block from accessing the storage room gave "no opportunity for the government to confirm" the existence of documents.

Pictures of top secret files spread across carpets were posted online, which Mr Trump said was the fault of the FBI who pretended it was him.

The ex president has called the allegations “fake news”.