FBI Code Name for Trump Documents Probe Was a Doozy

'Plasmic Echo' sounds like a prog-rock band name
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2024 1:11 PM CDT
FBI Code Name for Trump Documents Probe Was a Doozy
Donald Trump sits in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday in New York.   (Brendan McDermid/Pool Photo via AP)

It's no secret that law enforcement agencies often assign code names to various cases to keep them as hush-hush as possible, but one used for the investigation into Donald Trump's handling of classified documents is a bit of a head-scratcher. The Hill reports that the FBI deemed the probe "Plasmic Echo," a fact revealed in unredacted court documents filed Monday in the case involving the former president. The file had its case ID kept hidden, but the accompanying text begins "PLASMIC ECHO; Mishandling of Classified or National Defense Information."

The file is said to contain the agency's summary of its review of documents, classified and otherwise, that were found in 15 boxes returned by Trump to the National Archives. Plasmic Echo—which CNN notes could describe a "1970s rock band" or the "supernatural goo left behind" by the ghosts in Ghostbusters—joins a long list of code names assigned to other well-known FBI cases, including "Crossfire Hurricane" (for the Russian election interference probe) and "Varsity Blues" (the college admissions bribery scandal).

The New York Times details other revelations made Monday as almost 400 pages of investigative documents were unsealed. Among them: an unnamed Trump associate, called "Person 16" in the files, who said they'd given a stark warning to Trump in November 2021 about returning whatever files he'd held on to from the White House that he shouldn't have. "Whatever you have, give everything back—let them come here and get everything," the person told the FBI they said to Trump. "Don't give them a noble reason to indict you, because they will." (More Mar-a-Lago indictment stories.)

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