Donald Trump’s latest legal jeopardy stems from the FBI’s unprecedented search of the former president’s home in which they seized about two dozen boxes of documents. The documents included 11 sets of classified material, the precise nature of which remain a secret. That’s on top of 15 boxes of documents that Trump returned to the government in January that also included classified material. The US president has broad leeway to declassify material, which Trump says he did in the case of the documents he retained. But no evidence has emerged to back up that claim.
Federal law defines it as “information which, for reasons of national security, is specifically designated by a United States Government agency for limited or restricted dissemination or distribution.” There are three classification levels: “confidential,” “secret” and “top secret,” with access to some material further restricted by designating it “sensitive compartmented information,” available only to those with a proven need to see it.