Judge unseals FBI files in Trump classified documents case, including detailed timeline of Mar-a-Lago raid

The judge presiding over former President Trump’s classified documents case unsealed a slew of documents Monday evening pertaining to the FBI’s investigation into the former president and the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ordered the release of the new documents, which provided a detailed look into the personnel involved in the raid on Mar-a-Lago and a play-by-play timeline of the raid. One of the documents is an FBI file that suggests the agency’s investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents was dubbed “Plasmic Echo.”

“This document contains information that is restricted to case participants,” the document reads. It adds, “PLASMIC ECHO; Mishandling Classified or National Defense Information, Unknown Subject; Sensitive Investigation Matter.”


Another unsealed FBI memo memorialized the role of Attorney General Merrick Garland in the investigation.


U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon ordered the release of new documents pertaining to the FBI’s investigation into former President Trump and the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2022. (Angela Weiss/Pool via Reuters)

In a document dated March 30, 2022, Garland provided his approval to allow the investigation into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents to upgrade to a “full investigation.”

“This email conveys Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General (AG) [Merrick Garland] approval for conversion to a full investigation,” a synopsis of the restricted document reads.

Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort raided by FBI Video

Another unsealed FBI document, dated Aug. 17, 2022, detailed the FBI’s unprecedented raid on Trump’s Palm Beach estate days earlier on Aug 8, 2022.

The documents describe the personnel involved in the raid and provide a by-the-minute breakdown of the incident beginning with the FBI’s arrival at Mar-a-Lago.

This image, contained in the indictment against former President Trump, shows boxes of records stored in a bathroom and shower in the Lake Room at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. (Justice Department via AP)


It includes entering a “45 Office” safe and later taking seized documents back to Washington – ultimately to the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO).

“A search warrant, 22-mj-8332-BER, issued in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on August 5, 2022, was executed at 1100 South Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, Florida 33480 at 10:33 a.m. on August 8, 2022,” the document reads.

Former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, was raided by the FBI in the morning hours of Aug. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)


“Prior to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) team’s entry onto the MAL premises, FBI leadership informed and coordinated with local United States Secret service (USSS) leadership. Local USSS facilitated entry onto the premises, provided escort and access to various locations within, and posted USSS personnel in locations where the FBI team conducted searches,” it continued.

In this photo illustration, pages are viewed from the government’s released version of the 32-page FBI search warrant affidavit for former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. It was heavily redacted for the protection of witnesses and law enforcement and to ensure the “integrity of the ongoing investigation.” (Photo Illustration by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The personnel at the raid consisted of four agents from the FBI WFO, one FBI Headquarters personnel, 25 agents from the FBI Miami Field Office, one DOJ Counterintelligence and Export Control Section attorney and one attorney from the United States Attorneys Office Southern District of Florida.

Trump famously said the morning of the raid that his Mar-a-Lago estate was “under siege” by the FBI.

He also claimed to be in full cooperation with investigators.

According to the unsealed documents, the timeline for the raid is as followed, with approximate times.

Aug. 8, 2022

08:59 a.m. — FBI team entered the Mar-a-Lago premises

09:01 a.m. — Entry photographs of exterior initiated

09:14 a.m. — Telephonic contact with attorney [name redacted] attempted

09:36 a.m. — Telephonic contact established with [name redacted]

10:13 a.m. — CCTV activated on Mar-a-Lago premises

10:33 a.m. — Search of Mar-a-Lago initiated

10:55 a.m. — Entry photographs resumed

10:55 a.m. — Filter Team review of “45 Office” initiated

01:33 p.m. — US Attorney’s Office SDFL approves FBI entry in “45 Office” safe

02:23 p.m. — Exit photos of “45 Office” initiated

04:33 p.m. — Search of Mar-a-Lago premises concluded

06:19 p.m. — Receipt for Property provided to Attorney [name redacted]

07:52 p.m. — Seized evidence arrived at FBI Field Office Miami

08:18 p.m. — Seized evidence secured in FBI Field Office Miami temporary storage

Aug. 9, 2022

07:08 a.m. — Seized evidence removed from FBI Field Office Miami temporary storage

07:13 a.m. — Convoy briefing provided by FBI Field Office Miami SWAT Team Leader

07:54 a.m. — Seized evidence departed FBI Field Office Miami

08:34 a.m. — Seized evidence arrived at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)

08:35 a.m. — Seized evidence loaded on aircraft

08:49 a.m. — Aircraft departs FLL

11:00 a.m. — Aircraft arrives at Reagan International Airport (DCA)

11:15 a.m. — FBI Field Office Miami Filter Team Lead transfers potentially privileged seized evidence to FBI Washington Field Office Filter Team

11:20 a.m. — Seized evidence departs DCA

11:50 a.m. — Seized evidence arrives at FBI Washington Field Office.

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