Judge rejects DOJ’s offer to despise Trump team over classified documents

A federal judge on Friday denied a Justice Department request to detain members of former President Donald Trump’s legal team, or the ex-president himself, for contempt of court over alleged failure to turn over classified documents from his tenure at the White House, according to multiple reports.

Chief Justice of the DC District Court Beryl Howell ordered Trump’s attorneys and the DOJ to settle the dispute among themselves after a closed-door hearing that lasted more than an hour Friday afternoon, according to ABC News.

The DOJ sought contempt charges against 76-year-old Trump and his attorneys for allegedly failing to comply with a May subpoena demanding that sensitive material be returned to the federal government.

“The President and his attorney will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of the Justice Department’s highly armed and corrupt witch hunt,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement on Friday.

“If the Justice Department can go after President Trump, surely they will go after any American they disagree with,” he added. “President Trump is the only one standing in the way of the un-American arming of law enforcement.”

Trump lawyers have reportedly recently stepped up efforts to pull together all the outstanding classified documents.

A closed-door hearing lasted more than an hour on Friday.
DC District Court Chief Justice Beryl Howell ordered Trump’s attorneys and the DOJ to resolve the dispute among themselves.
AP

At least two documents marked as classified were found by Trump’s team during a search of a warehouse in West Palm Beach, Fla., late last month, according to multiple reports earlier this week. These papers were later turned over to the FBI.

However, a key area of ​​disagreement between the DOJ and Trump’s attorneys remains the former president’s legal team’s refusal to appoint a custodian of records to certify that all classified materials have been returned to the National Archives, the Washington Post reported Thursday .

The DOJ is investigating whether Trump broke the law by retaining U.S. government records, some of which are marked top secret, after he left office. So far, the government has reportedly tracked down hundreds of classified documents Trump kept after his presidency ended in January 2021.

https://nypost.com/2022/12/09/judge-rejects-doj-bid-to-hold-trump-team-in-contempt-over-classified-docs/ Judge rejects DOJ’s offer to despise Trump team over classified documents

JACLYN DIAZ

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