'Plasmic Echo' was FBI code name for Trump classified documents probe

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The FBI’s code name for its investigation into former President Trump’s handling of classified documents was “Plasmic Echo,” according to court filings published Monday.

The name was listed in unredacted court documents filed Monday in the former president’s classified documents case. Electronic communication from the FBI included in the court documents lists a case ID, which was redacted, followed by the text, ‘PLASMIC ECHO; Mishandling of Classified or National Defense Information.”

The file, dated Feb. 22, 2024, is the FBI’s summary of an initial review of the documents the agency received from the National Archives. It said classified documents were found in 12 of the 15 boxes Trump returned to the archives that year.

The summary was among hundreds of pages of exhibits filed by Trump’s legal team on Monday to outline the former president’s attempts to obtain additional records from the federal government for the case, CNN reported.

The Hill reached out to the FBI and the Department of Justice for further comment.

The former president is facing 40 charges alleging he mishandled classified records and attempted to obstruct the government’s retrieval of those records after he left the White House in 2021. Prosecutors allege the documents contained national defense and weapons information, some of which had top secret markings.

The government’s retrieval of the more than 300 classified records featured an FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in August 2022.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon last week denied the former president’s efforts to toss the case by arguing the records could have been considered personal records.

Trump claimed he designated the records in question as personal under the Presidential Records Act before leaving the White House. Cannon ruled the Presidential Records Act does not “provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss.”

Trump is largely being prosecuted under the Espionage Act, which bars the willful retention of national defense information. He is also charged with obstruction of justice for seeking to conceal the records from authorities after they demanded their return and prosecutors argued the PRA had no bearing on Trump’s ability to retain the documents.

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