Trump had access to national security information that most Americans never see. Here are the various levels of security clearance and who is permitted to hold that clearance.

Donald Trump portrait

Former President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on August 5, 2022.Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • During a search of Donald Trump’s office on Monday, officials found top-secret, top-secret, top-secret documents.

  • Not everyone has access to classified documents, but the president can grant access through an executive order.

  • As a lawyer speculated in 2019, Trump could theoretically grant confidentiality clearance to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

FBI officials say Donald Trump has classified documents not intended for most Americans to see. Former President’s House Search at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Monday,

according to search warrantunsealed by the Justice Department and obtained by multiple news outlets on Friday, officials seized 11 sets of documents labeled classified, confidential, and top secret —Three Levels of Security for U.S. Documents In ascending order of importance and sensitivity.

Trump defends himself he said he declassified the information The document was declassified so that it could be viewed by persons without special clearance.

Most officials who work with the government must have security clearance and a reason to access government-restricted documents.

In fact, presidents, vice presidents, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and many elected officials are not required to obtain security clearance clearance for classified documents. Because their position in office means that the American people have decided to entrust national security to them.According to a report from the secret Congressional Research Service.

In general, U.S. citizens working in the areas of national security, defense, and other sensitive areas of government are required to go through a security clearance process that includes: application Background checks, according to the CRS report. The National Background Information Service must determine whether the applicant has a need for the information specified and whether the applicant can be trusted to keep the information confidential.

Agencies such as the FBI and the White House Security Office determine who gets clearance within the White House. NPR reported in 2019.

A 2019 report found that nearly 3 million civil servants and contractors had security clearances, of which more than 1.2 million were top secret. Annual Security Clearance Determination.

Top secret clearance, however, does not mean that officials have access to all top secret government information. Top Secret Clearance has various categories of sensitive compartment information and special access programs. This is top secret information that corresponds to various areas of government or special policy or project work. To access these documents and programs, officials must work in certain areas.

Sectioned information was previously declassified. 2010 Former President Barack Obama declassified the number of nuclear warhead in US stockpiles.

The president, usually through an executive order, can grant permission to staff or anyone in his orbit, even if it is against the wishes of those tasked with granting the permission. In 2018, Trump ordered his son-in-law and former senior adviser Jared Kushner to be granted classified clearance despite the concerns of intelligence officials. The New York Times reported in 2019A source told NBC in 2019 The FBI initially denied Kushner’s application, citing concerns over Kushner’s family business and his contact with foreigners.

Trump could theoretically have given Russian President Vladimir Putin a secrecy clearance while he was in office, national security attorney Mark Zaid said. NPR in 2019.

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