Trump lawyers call for special master again in FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago

Lawyers for the former president donald trump Wednesday again called on a federal judge to appoint a “special master” to review documents seized from Trump’s Florida home by the FBI.

The narrowly focused filing in US District Court in West Palm Beach came a day after the Department of Justice pleaded that the appointment of a special captain could harm the national security interests of the government.

The DOJ filing also said “efforts were likely made to impede the government’s investigation” into the records that were shipped to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence after his presidency ended.

And the DOJ revealed that the FBI seized more than 100 classified documents from the Palm Beach resort during its raid of the premises earlier this month. The agency also shared a redacted FBI photo showing documents with classification marks that had been recovered from a container in Trump’s “Office 45.”

Trump’s legal team in its Wednesday evening response accused the DOJ of distorting “the framework for responding to a petition for a Special Masters into a comprehensive challenge to any legal consideration, present or future, of any aspect of his behavior without precedent in this investigation.”

The government’s “extraordinary document” suggests “that the DOJ, and the DOJ alone, should be tasked with assessing its wrongful pursuit to criminalize a former president’s possession of personal and presidential records in a secure setting,” the lawyers wrote. of Trump.

They also accused the DOJ of providing several “misleading or incomplete statements[s] so-called “facts”, but offered few details.

Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, set a hearing Thursday for 1 p.m. ET at a West Palm Beach courthouse.

Trump had sued for blocking the Ministry of Justice to further investigate all the materials taken during the Mar-a-Lago raid until a special master is able to analyze them. This action is usually taken when there is a chance that some evidence will be hidden from prosecutors due to various legal privileges.

The DOJ told the judge on Monday that his the examination of the seized materials was completed, and that a law enforcement team had identified a “limited set” of documents that could be protected by solicitor-client privilege. This privilege often refers to the legal doctrine that protects the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and his client.

Trump’s attorneys responded Wednesday that the so-called privilege review team was “completely flawed” in identifying and separating all potentially privileged material from the rest of the seized material.

Trump and his office have publicly claimed that he has declassified all documents that were seized by the FBI. But Trump’s legal team did not make that explicit argument in the civil lawsuit before Cannon.

The DOJ in Tuesday’s late-night filing said that when 15 boxes were recovered from Mar-a-Lago by the National Archives in January, Trump “never asserted executive privilege over any of the documents nor asserted that ‘none of the documents in the boxes containing the classification marks had been declassified.’

The government also said no allegation of declassification was made when FBI agents traveled to Mar-a-Lago on June 3, pursuant to a grand jury subpoena to collect further documents. possession of Trump bearing classification marks.

The DOJ said it obtained the subpoena in May, after the FBI established evidence that dozens of boxes containing classified information — beyond the 15 boxes recovered in January — were still at Trump’s residence.

“During the production of the documents, neither the attorney nor the custodian claimed that the former president had declassified the documents or asserted any claim of executive privilege. Instead, the attorney treated them as ‘in a manner that suggested the attorney believed the documents were classified: the production included a single Redweld envelope, double-wrapped in tape, containing the documents,’ the DOJ wrote.

At the same time, the custodian of the Trump records had also provided a sworn certification letter, saying “all” documents responding to a grand jury subpoena had been turned over, the DOJ wrote.

But the FBI then “uncovered multiple sources of evidence” indicating that more classified documents remained at Mar-a-Lago, according to the DOJ filing.

“The government has also developed evidence that the government records were likely concealed and removed from storage and that efforts were likely made to impede the government investigation,” the DOJ wrote.

This and other information led the government to seek a warrant to search Mar-a-Lago, who was eventually executed on August 8.

In their response Wednesday, Trump’s attorneys wrote that the DOJ’s account of the June 3 meeting “has been significantly misinterpreted.”

“If the government provided the same false narrative in the affidavit in support of the search warrant, then it misled the magistrate,” the former president’s lawyers wrote.

Trump, in a social media post earlier Wednesday evening, also accused the DOJ of being “very misleading” by sharing a photo that appears to show numerous classified documents strewn across a carpet.

Trump clarified that the FBI “took them out of the boxes and strewn them on the carpet, which looked like a great ‘find’ to them.”

“They let them go, not me – Very misleading…And remember, we couldn’t have ANY representatives, including attorneys, present during the Raid. They were told to wait outside,” Trump wrote.

Leave a Comment