Trump has filed a lawsuit arguing that the DOJ should stop reviewing Mar-a-Lago materials until a ‘special master’ is named.

Trump has filed a lawsuit arguing that the DOJ should stop reviewing Mar-a-Lago materials until a ‘special master’ is named.

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Donald Trump has demanded more details from the Justice Department about what the FBI seized at Mar-a-Lago.Images by James Devaney/GC

  • Trump’s team has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to stop the DOJ from combing through materials seized at Mar-a-Lago.

  • The suit called for the appointment of a special master “to protect the integrity of privileged documents”.

  • The FBI recovered more than a dozen boxes from Mar-a-Lago, some of which contained confidential and top-secret records.

Donald Trump asked a federal judge on Monday to bar the Justice Department from reviewing materials seized in the Mar-a-Lago operation, arguing in a new lawsuit that the court must appoint a so-called special master to “protect the integrity of privileged documents”. ” found at the former president’s home in South Florida.

In a lawsuit, Trump’s lawyers also demanded that the Justice Department provide a more detailed inventory of items the FBI removed from Mar-a-Lago during an Aug. .

Trump’s lawsuit has opened up a new front in his attack on the Department of Justice after the FBI’s extraordinary Mar-a-Lago search, an operation that the former president’s lawyers described in their lawsuit as “unprecedented and unnecessary.”

The lawsuit was filed with allegations that the search was politically motivated and identified Trump as “the clear favorite in the 2024 Republican presidential primaries and the 2024 general election, should he decide to run.”

“Politics cannot impact the administration of justice,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

In the 27-page lawsuit, Trump’s lawyers said the Justice Department informed them that privileged or potentially privileged materials were among the records that FBI agents removed from the former president’s Palm Beach property. Trump’s legal team has asked Judge Aileen Cannon to ban the Department of Justice from continuing its review of records until she selects a court-appointed outsider — known as a special master — to filter privileged material.

“This measure – which the administration itself has requested in cases involving the seizure of privileged and/or potentially privileged materials – is necessary to preserve the sanctity of executive communications and other privileged materials,” Trump’s lawyers argued, adding that FBI agents seized privileged materials “suggests the need for a careful review process.”

A few days after the Mar-a-Lago search, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the Department of Justice would ask a magistrate judge to open the search warrant authorizing the Mar-a-Lago raid and manifest the seized items. . In announcing the unusual move, Garland pointed to Trump’s public statements about the attack, including his confirmation that the FBI was searching his South Florida home.

Trump did not object, and later in the week, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart opened court records showing that the search was related to possible violations of the Espionage Act and laws governing the handling of government documents.

According to court documents, the feds recovered more than a dozen boxes of Mar-a-Lago government records, some of which contained classified and top-secret material. They also seized folders of photos, a handwritten note and the executive grant of clemency to longtime Trump ally Roger Stone.

In Monday’s lawsuit, Trump’s legal team described Garland’s press conference as “deeply troubling” and stated that it “clearly suggests that the decision to invade Mar-a-Lago, just 90 days before the midterm elections 2022, involved political calculations aimed at diminishing the leading voice in the Republican Party, President Trump.”

The former president also released a statement announcing the motion and described the operation as “unnecessary, unwarranted and un-American”.

“We are now demanding that the Department of ‘Justice’ be instructed to STOP immediately reviewing documents illegally seized from my home,” the statement said. He added: “ALL documents were previously declassified,” a dubious claim that more than a dozen former Trump White House aides described as “complete fiction.”

Peter Zeidenberg, a former longtime federal prosecutor, told Insider on Monday that he believes the department’s investigation into Trump’s handling of the documents is “by far the most direct and immediate threat” the former president faces.

Garland’s top spokesman, Anthony Coley, released a statement shortly after Monday’s lawsuit was filed, saying the “Mar-a-Lago search warrant was authorized by a federal court upon discovery of the cause. likely”.

“The Department is aware of tonight’s motion,” Coley said. “The United States will file its response in court.”

Trump is also at the center of other federal and state criminal investigations, including the department’s extensive Capitol riot investigation, and investigations in New York and Georgia into his business practices and efforts by his allies to overturn the election results.

“The classified documents case is easy,” a lawyer familiar with the Trump team’s thought process recently told Insider. “It’s open and closed. He took an administrative matter and turned it into a full-fledged criminal case.”

They added: “He should be worried about all these investigations. I think he is the target of all of them and I think he will be indicted.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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