The former president has claimed without evidence that the FBI may have provided documents during a search of Mar-a-Lago last month.
US judge appointed as veterinarian documents seized from Donald Trump’s home in Florida last month ordered the former US president’s legal team to provide evidence to substantiate Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that certain records were drawn up by the FBI.
In a legal filing on Thursday, Raymond Dearie asked the Justice Department to certify on Monday a detailed inventory of documents seized during the FBI investigation. August 8 search about Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
He then asked Trump’s attorneys to submit by September 30 a list of specific items they believe “wasn’t seized from the premises” during the search, as well as submit any corrections. any corrections to the U.S. government asset list.
“This submission shall be from the plaintiff [Trump’s] last chance to bring up any factual dispute as to the completeness and accuracy of the Detailed Inventory,” wrote Dearie.
Dearie is appointed this month serve as a neutral third party, known as a special master, to examine documents seized during the FBI’s search for any documents under executive or attorney prerogative- client.
US District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, agreed to a request from the former president’s team to freeze review of government records until a special expert can be appointed. .
The Justice Department is conducting an investigation into Trump’s possible mishandling of classified material in an unprecedented criminal investigation into a former president.
The Mar-a-Lago search warrant said federal agents are investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including one that regulates the collection, transmission, or loss of defense information under the Espionage Act.
An unsealed asset receipt also shows that the FBI seized 11 sets of classified documents, some of which were marked not only as top secret but also as “sensitively distributed information.”
Trump’s legal team has dismissed the investigation as “false,” saying that US law allows presidents with “extraordinary discretion” to label documents from their administration as presidential or individual.
The former president’s legal team has also question whether the documents marked “classified” recovered from Mar-a-Lago were actually classified documents, suggesting that Trump may have declassified them before leaving office.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Trump suggested that the FBI may have installed the documents during the search.
“The problem you have is that they come into the room, they won’t let anyone come near them; they won’t even let them stay in the same building. Do they drop anything in those files? Or did they do it then? There is no chain of surveillance action here with them,” he said.
Meanwhile, a US appeals court on Wednesday approved request by the Department of Justice to rescind Cannon’s restraining order to review the records.
The ruling brought a landslide victory for the government, paving the way for investigators to continue scrutinizing the documents as they consider whether criminal charges against Trump should be brought.