How to Decipher the Spy Codes and [Redacted] Secrets in Trump’s Federal Indictment

At the core of the 2023 federal indictment naming Donald J. Trump and his assistant Walt Nauta lies a cryptic enigma waiting to be unraveled - the lexicon used by the US intelligence community.

Donald Trump
Trump pleaded not guilty to the federal indictment charges


The legal document mentions 31 classified documents allegedly stored or lined to the President's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. A variety of codes classify the documents, an alphabet soup ranging from NOFORN (Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals) to SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility). 

Already confused? Here’s your intelligence glossary to help you decipher the indictment and allegations swirling around Trump and Nauta, including all five levels of US Government Security Clearance (in order from lowest to highest): Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, and above that super-secret SCI & SAP. 

Top Secret Stamp


CONFIDENTIAL‍ - Access to information that may cause damage to national security if disclosed without authorization.

FISA - Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

FORMERLY RESTRICTED DATA (FDR) - Document No. 19 is marked FRD, a classification given to secret information involving the military use of nuclear weapons. Governed by the Atomic Energy Act, the weapons may include nuclear weapon stockpile quantities, nuclear weapon storage and safety, nuclear weapon yields, and nuclear weapon storage locations (past and present).

FVEY - Five Eyes intelligence alliance consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the US.

HCS-P
- Human Control System is intelligence acquired from a human source. The '-P' stands for Product - a raw, not finally evaluated intelligence report.

NARA -
National Archives and Records Administration.

NODIS - No Distribution means the intelligence can only be read by a named individual or by selected positions.

NOFORN
- The document can’t be shared with foreigners.

ODNI - Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

ORCON
- Originator Control means that the US agency that produced the document must give approval before it is shared with any other US government agency. 

How to Decipher the Spy Codes and [Redacted] Secrets in Trump’s Federal Indictment

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At the core of the 2023 federal indictment naming Donald J. Trump and his assistant Walt Nauta lies a cryptic enigma waiting to be unraveled - the lexicon used by the US intelligence community.

Donald Trump
Trump pleaded not guilty to the federal indictment charges


The legal document mentions 31 classified documents allegedly stored or lined to the President's Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida. A variety of codes classify the documents, an alphabet soup ranging from NOFORN (Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals) to SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility). 

Already confused? Here’s your intelligence glossary to help you decipher the indictment and allegations swirling around Trump and Nauta, including all five levels of US Government Security Clearance (in order from lowest to highest): Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, and above that super-secret SCI & SAP. 

Top Secret Stamp


CONFIDENTIAL‍ - Access to information that may cause damage to national security if disclosed without authorization.

FISA - Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

FORMERLY RESTRICTED DATA (FDR) - Document No. 19 is marked FRD, a classification given to secret information involving the military use of nuclear weapons. Governed by the Atomic Energy Act, the weapons may include nuclear weapon stockpile quantities, nuclear weapon storage and safety, nuclear weapon yields, and nuclear weapon storage locations (past and present).

FVEY - Five Eyes intelligence alliance consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and the US.

HCS-P
- Human Control System is intelligence acquired from a human source. The '-P' stands for Product - a raw, not finally evaluated intelligence report.

NARA -
National Archives and Records Administration.

NODIS - No Distribution means the intelligence can only be read by a named individual or by selected positions.

NOFORN
- The document can’t be shared with foreigners.

ODNI - Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

ORCON
- Originator Control means that the US agency that produced the document must give approval before it is shared with any other US government agency. 

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PRESIDENT'S DAILY BRIEF (PDB) - Since 1946, a daily summary of high-level, all-source information and analysis on national security issues has been produced for the president, key cabinet members, and advisers. It is coordinated and delivered by the ODNI with contributions from the CIA, DIA, FBI and other Intelligence Community elements.

[REDACTED]/[REDACTED] -
The document is so sensitive two of the codenames related to it are redacted

RESTRICTED DATA (RD) - The most sensitive nuclear weapons information is classified as RD and it is governed by the Atomic Energy Act. According to the Department of Energy guide Understanding Classification, RD may include nuclear weapons designs, the production of uranium or plutonium for nuclear weapons, and the design of naval nuclear propulsion reactors.

SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAMS (SAPS) - Programs to further protect classified information used when the vulnerability of - or threat to - specific classified information is exceptional and the normal criteria for determining eligibility for access is insufficient to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure.

SECRET - Access to information that may cause serious damage to national security if disclosed without authorization. 

Trump files

SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION (SCI) - SCI means classified information concerning or derived from intelligence sources, methods, or analytical processes, which is further restricted with the requirements that it be handled within formal access control systems established by the Director of National Intelligence.

SENSITIVE COMPARTMENTED INFORMATION FACILITY (SCIF) - Locations where individuals with the appropriate security clearance and SCI permissions are authorized to have access to national security information.

SI - Signals Intelligence intercepted by the US government, for example, a cell phone interception.

SPECIAL ACCESS PROGRAMS or SAP (TWO TYPES)
- Includes highly sensitive projects and programs. Clearance can range from secret black projects for new weapons to sensitive operations such as presidential transportation support. There are two types of SAP: i) acknowledged, which may be publicly disclosed but details of the program remain classified, and ii) unacknowledged, which is known only to authorized persons who may include members of appropriate US Congressional committees.

TK - Talent Keyhole means that the intelligence was derived by overhead imagery such as satellite systems.

TOP SECRET
- Access to information that may cause exceptionally grave damage to US national security if disclosed without authorization.

USIC - United States Intelligence Community.

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