The Washington Post

Figuring out what’s missing


The excellent Sept. 3 front-page article “Trump mixed secret, trivial” described what is known so far about the thousands of documents found at Mar-a-lago. I had a TS/SCI clearance for most of my 20 years in the Air Force and for 17 years as a contractor. I am amazed and disgusted by the way former president Donald Trump handled classified material.

The article cited a government inventory that included “government documents with classified markings,” “empty folders with ‘CLASSIFIED’ banners” and “empty folders labeled ‘Return to Staff Secretary/ Mili[t]ary Aide.’ ” A government filing said that there might be “additional witness interviews” and that the investigat­ion could include “the nature and manner in which [the documents] were stored.”

I suggest that the investigat­ion look into the sources of the classified documents to see whether any of the individual­s, including the staff secretary, the military aide and any briefers who provided them to the former president recall not getting their documents back. There might be a record of some of the missing documents in the offices of whoever prepared a presentati­on or briefing either as a response to a request from the then-president or to call his attention to an important matter.

Previous reporting has noted that when he was president, Mr. Trump traveled with boxes of documents. Considerin­g that he could have carried this habit over into his post-presidenti­al years, I suggest that some considerat­ion be given to getting search warrants for any location where Mr. Trump might have gone after Jan. 20, 2021 — especially if all the missing documents cannot be accounted for.

Stephen Marschall, Burke

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