Lawyers for former President Donald Trump described Monday’s Justice Department investigation into whether the 45th President unlawfully kept classified documents at his resort town of Mar-a-Lago as “a document-keeping dispute that has spiraled out of control.”
Trump’s legal team was responding to the Justice Department’s request that a Florida federal judge reverse her Sept. 5 injunction and ask a neutral third party, known as a “special master,” to review the thousands of records found by federal investigators on Aug. 8 were confiscated.
In the 20-page filing, Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, argued that delaying the investigation to allow for the Special Master’s review would not do undue harm to national security.
“[T]The government’s claims of ‘irreparable harm’ to the government ‘and the public’ appear exaggerated,” Kise wrote, later adding, “The government’s convenient and belated claim to bar the criminal team from accessing these documents only arises , because the FBI acknowledges that intelligence community scrutiny is really just another facet of its criminal investigation.”
The DOJ on September 8 asked US District Judge Aileen Cannon to allow investigators to continue examining 105 documents removed from Mar-a-Lago that are marked “confidential,” “secret,” or “top secret.” But Kise argued Monday that “disagreements still exist over the classification status of the documents.”
Kise also insisted that “there is no evidence that alleged ‘secret records’ were leaked to anyone.
“Indeed, it appears that such ‘secret records’ along with the other confiscated materials were kept mainly in storage boxes in a locked room at Mar-a-Lago, a secure, controlled access area regularly used to conduct official business of the United States during the Trump presidency, which is still being monitored by the United States Secret Service to this day,” he wrote.
Late Friday, both sides of the dispute presented their decision to examine the more than 11,000 pages of records removed from Mar-a-Lago for records covered by attorney-client privilege, executive privilege or other criminal protections.
The Justice Department nominated former federal judges Barbara Jones and Thomas Griffith for the job, while the Trump team asked about former Manhattan Attorney and Judge Raymond Dearie or Paul Huck Jr., a former Florida assistant attorney general.
In Monday’s filing, Kise suggested the FBI took “approximately five hundred pages of material likely subject to attorney-client privilege, as well as medical documents and tax and accounting information.”
The Justice Department said last week that if Cannon does not stay her special master’s order by Sept. 15, it will seek relief from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/12/fbi-seized-hundreds-of-privileged-trump-docs-from-mar-a-lago/ FBI seized hundreds of privileged Trump documents from Mar-a-Lago