China News Service, August 17 (CNN), citing two people familiar with the matter, reported that the FBI interviewed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone earlier this year. (Pat Cipollone) and his former deputy, Patrick Philbin, as part of an investigation into former U.S. President Trump's Mar-a-Lago documents.

  The report pointed out that the two are the highest-level former Trump administration officials interviewed in the current criminal investigation, and they may be involved in mishandling of classified information and obstruction of official business.

The two were among a group of former Trump aides the FBI interviewed after the criminal investigation began this spring, people familiar with the matter said.

  The New York Times reported the interviews earlier.

Cipollone and Philbin declined to comment to CNN for this story.

  According to a court filing made public on the 12th, the FBI seized 11 classified documents during a raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, some of which were marked as "top secret" or "sensitive quarantined information."

  The search warrants included in the court documents also show investigators opened an investigation into possible violations of three federal laws: violations of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice and the unlawful handling of government records.

  Trump said the documents had been declassified.

Trump posted on social media on the 14th, calling on the FBI to return the documents confiscated at Mar-a-Lago, saying the documents were protected by "attorney-client privilege" and "executive privilege."