FBI Used Secret Code for Probing Trump’s Classified Documents Case

Law enforcement uses code names to keep investigations under wraps, but the one assigned to the probe investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents is perplexing. In unredacted court records submitted Monday in the lawsuit involving the former president, the FBI reportedly dubbed the probe “Plasmic Echo.”

What that means is anyone’s guess.

Other cases include the “Varsity Blues” case, which involved bribery in college admissions, and the “Crossfire Hurricane” case, which involved Russian electoral involvement.

The FBI first reviewed documents obtained from the National Archives. A summary of their findings is included in the February 22, 2024 file—twelve of the fifteen boxes that Trump returned to the archives that year reportedly included secret materials.

After leaving office in 2021, the ex-president faces forty accusations, most of which relate to the destruction or unauthorized disclosure of sensitive documents or the obstruction of government attempts to retrieve them. According to the prosecution, the papers were allegedly designated as top secret and included vital information on the nation’s defense and armaments.

Over 300 classified data were retrieved in August 2022 during an FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.

Trump reportedly returned fifteen boxes to the National Archives, and the file apparently contains the agency’s evaluation of various documents, classified and non-classified. 

The ex-president sought to dismiss the lawsuit last week, but U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon denied his motion, stating that the documents may be considered private.

Before leaving the White House, Trump allegedly labeled the relevant documents as personal by the Presidential Documents Act. According to Cannon, no pre-trial dismissal grounds exist under the Presidential Records Act.

Intentionally concealing intelligence vital to the nation’s defense is a crime, and Trump is now facing charges for violating the Espionage Act. The fact that he tried to hide the documents from the authorities after their request for their return brings further allegations of obstruction of justice against him. The prosecution maintained that Trump’s right to retain the records is unaffected by the Presidential Records Act.