During Monday’s search of Donald Trump’s office, officials found confidential, secret and top secret documents.
Not everyone can access classified documents, but the president can grant access through an executive order.
In theory, Trump could give Russian President Vladimir Putin a security clearance, a lawyer speculated in 2019.
FBI officials discovered that Donald Trump had classified documents that were not meant to be seen by most Americans during a raid on the former president’s house at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Monday,
According to the search warrantrevealed by the Department of Justice and obtained by various media outlets on Friday, officials seized 11 sets of documents labeled Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret:The three levels of security for US documents in ascending order of importance and secrecy.
Trump defended himself and said he declassified the information in the documents or stripped them of their classified status so those without special clearances could see them.
Most officials working with the government must have security clearances, as well as a reason to access government-restricted documents. However, as president, Trump did not need to approve any security clearances.
In fact, the president, vice president, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and many elected officials are not required to obtain permission for security clearances of any classified document, since their positions in office mean that the people decided to trust them with national security. secrets, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
In general, US citizens who work in the fields of national security, defense, and other sensitive areas of government must go through a security clearance process, which includes an app and a background check, according to the CRS report. The National Bureau of Background Investigations must determine whether or not the applicant needs the specified information and whether or not he can be trusted to keep said information secret.
Agencies like the FBI and the White House Office of Security determine who gets clearances inside the White House, NPR reported in 2019.
Nearly 3 million government employees and contractors had security clearances and more than 1.2 million of those clearances were top secret, according to a 2019 report from annual security clearance determinations.
However, a top secret clearance does not mean that an official has access to all of the government’s highest classified information. Top secret clearances include various categories of compartmentalized sensitive information and special access programs, which is top secret information that pertains to various areas of government work or special policies or projects. Officials must be working in a particular field to access those documents and programs.
Presidents can grant clearances, usually through executive order, to staff or anyone in their orbit, even against the wishes of those tasked with granting such clearances. In 2018, Trump ordered that his son-in-law, former senior adviser Jared Kushner, be granted a top-secret clearance, despite concerns from intelligence officials. The New York Times reported in 2019. sources said NBC in 2019 that fears about Kushner’s family businesses and overseas contacts led the FBI to initially reject his application.
In theory, Trump could have given Russian President Vladimir Putin a security clearance during his time as president, said Mark Zaid, a national security lawyer. RNP in 2019.
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