The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed its full response to former President Donald Trump’s request seeking a special agent to review documents seized during the Aug. 8 FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.
On Tuesday, the DOJ filed 36 pages after being granted permission to exceed the 20-page limit set by local regulations. Prosecutors argued that the limit was insufficient for the agency to “adequately address the legal and factual issues raised by the filings by Trump’s legal team.”
The new filing comes just a day after the DOJ filed another filing upholding Southern District of Florida Judge Aileen Cannon’s preliminary order over the weekend.
Monday’s filing revealed that the DOJ had already deployed a “filtering team” to review and weed out the Mar-a-Lago documents that contained privileged information. The use of a review team undermines Trump’s request, which Cannon says he wanted to have an outside special foreman oversee the evidence.
The new, longer file contained additional information about the DOJ’s investigation, including more details about what was seized from Trump’s Florida home and the status of the department’s materials review. Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday’s document:
1. Efforts “likely to be made to obstruct the investigation.”
The Justice Department said in its filing that some of the documents sought may have been removed from the storage room at Mar-a-Lago and that efforts may have been made to obstruct the investigation.
The filing states that the DOJ came to believe that relevant files were held both in the storeroom and elsewhere, despite being told that all White House documents had been held in the storeroom as of June 3. That day, three FBI agents and a DOJ attorney went to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve documents following a grand jury subpoena. They were met by the former president’s attorney and an administrator of his records, who provided them with documents sought as part of the investigation. The administrator issued them with a certificate stating that a “careful search” had been conducted and that “any and all” documents responding to the subpoena were attached to the certificate.
Trump’s attorney “further indicated that no other records were kept in private offices or elsewhere on the premises and that all available boxes were searched,” the filing said.
The DOJ also said that on June 3, agents were prevented by Trump’s attorney from “opening or looking inside any of the boxes remaining in the storage room, giving the government no opportunity to confirm that documents with classification marks were no longer present.”
The DOJ wrote that “the government has developed evidence that a search limited to the storage room would not have uncovered all classified documents on the premises.”
“The government has also developed evidence that government records were likely hidden and removed from storage and that efforts were likely made to obstruct government investigations,” they said.
2. Doubts about Trump’s cooperation
The DOJ filing questions the extent of former President Donald Trump’s cooperation in the investigation, citing documents returned June 3 following a grand jury subpoena.
The filing said the Aug. 8 search found twice as many classified documents as were returned on June 3 after a “diligent search” by Trump’s records manager.
“That the FBI found twice as many documents with classified classifications as the ‘diligent search’ in a matter of hours; that the former president’s attorney and other officials had weeks to complete this seriously questions the representations in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the level of cooperation on this matter,” the DOJ said.
3. No claim that documents have been released
Former President Trump and some of his allies had previously said the documents at Mar-a-Lago may have been declassified by Trump before he left office. However, the DOJ’s filing states that there was no claim that the documents retrieved on June 3 were declassified.
“On June 3, 2022, three FBI agents and a Justice Department attorney arrived at the premises to receive the materials. presidency,” the file said.
“Upon submitting the documents, neither the attorney nor the administrator alleged that the former president released the documents or made any claim for executive privilege,” the filing continued.
The DOJ added that “the attorney treated them in a manner that suggested the attorney believed the documents were classified: The production contained a single Redweld envelope, double-wrapped in duct tape, containing the documents. “
4. Records “do not belong” to Trump
As part of its argument against appointing a special supervisor, the DOJ’s filing said that the documents at the center of the investigation do not belong to the former president, so he lacks “reputation.” It added that Trump would suffer “no injury” if he wasn’t granted one.
“First of all, the former President lacks the authority to seek judicial relief or oversight of the President’s records because those records do not belong to him. The Presidential Records Act clarifies that ‘[t]The United States has “complete title, possession and control” over them,” the filing said.
“It is unlikely that the plaintiff will succeed in the matter; he will not suffer harm without an injunction – let alone irreparable harm; and the harm to the government and the public would far outweigh any benefit to the plaintiff,” the filing added.
5. Special Master could hinder investigation
The DOJ filing argues that Trump has no standing and that a special master is unnecessary, but also that appointing a special master would hamper the ongoing investigation.
The filing noted that “the government’s privilege review team has already identified all materials that may be subject to attorney-client privilege,” and the investigative team reviewed materials that were not segregated by that review.
The appointment of a special master “would do little or nothing to protect the plaintiff’s legitimate interests while hampering the government’s ongoing criminal investigation and the intelligence community’s review of potential risks to national security arising from the improper preservation of the.” confiscated material.”
By order of Cannon, Trump must submit his response to the DOJ by 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s scheduled hearing to consider his request for a special master.
https://www.newsweek.com/five-takeaways-doj-filing-why-trump-shouldnt-get-special-master-mar-lago-1738146 Five takeaways from DOJ filing on why Trump shouldn’t get a special master