September 28, 2022

Trump is asking a judge to block the DOJ from viewing classified records seized from Mar-a-Lago

WASHINGTON — Attorneys for former President Donald Trump asked a judge Monday for a continuance preventing The Justice Department reviewed classified documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon was acting last week blocked The DOJ did not use the records seized during the Aug. 8 FBI raid of Trump’s home until a special master reviewed them. The DOJ challenged its order Later in the week.

In a court of law Filing On Monday, Trump’s lawyers called the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president “unprecedented and improper” and said they “still have disagreements over the classified status of the documents.” While Trump and his associates have told the media that Trump classified various documents while he was president, his lawyers have not made that claim public.

The legal battle is over the government’s investigation into how hundreds of pages of classified government records continued to exist at Mar-a-Lago, even after a Trump lawyer certified in June that the estate contained no classified records. Cannon, a Trump appointee, endorsed Trump Request A special master on Sept. 5 and the government temporarily blocked the use of classified files as part of its investigation.

Cannon said a national security review of records could proceed, but the Justice Department said it was complicated because the FBI is part of the intelligence community and “classification review and assessment are closely intertwined — and they cannot be readily separated. The DOJ’s investigation and the FBI’s ongoing criminal investigation.” investigation.”

Legal experts hailed Cannon’s ruling Deep flawAnd the Justice Department argued that barring the executive branch from inspecting classified records belonging to the executive branch would “cause immediate and serious harm to the government and the public.”

The Justice Department announced in court last week that it will appeal his decision he asked Cannon must be part of his ruling regarding classified documents, meaning the government will act on classified records before a special master weighs in.

But Trump’s lawyers wrote that such a stay “would at least presuppose the conclusion that it is ‘classified records'” and that “there is no indication that any ‘classified records’ were disclosed to anyone.” Under the Presidential Records Act, the former president “has an unfettered right to access his presidential records even if he does not ‘own’ them,” the filing said. They raised controversy over Trump’s retention At least 11,000 pages Government documents up to “civil matter” governed by the Registration Act.

The government, Trump’s team argued, was trying to block “a reasonable first step in restoring order from chaos and increasing public confidence in the integrity of the process.” It said that unlike most criminal investigations, this investigation demands public transparency at every step.

“As this Court has rightly observed, a criminal investigation of this import—the investigation of a former President of the United States by the administration of his political rival—requires enhanced oversight to maintain fairness, transparency, and public trust,” the filing, signed by the attorney, read. Christopher Kiss According to “Given the importance of this hearing, the Court recognizes that, as with President Trump, it should be conducted in the public eye.”

There are both the Justice Department and Trump’s team Each proposed two candidates Serve as Special Master. The Trump team said in a separate filing Monday that it opposes both nominees for the Justice Department, but declined to spell out the reasons for its opposition on the public record.

The Justice Department on Monday urged the court to choose one of its two proposed nominees — retired Justices Barbara S. Jones or Thomas B. Griffith — or U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York Raymond J. Thierry, a candidate proposed. By Trump’s legal team.

“Judges Jones, Griffith and Deary each have substantial judicial experience during which they have presided over federal criminal and civil cases, including federal cases involving national security and privilege concerns,” wrote U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez. Gonzalez said the Justice Department opposed Trump counsel’s recommendation of Paul Hough Jr., arguing that he “doesn’t seem to have similar experience.”

Many legal experts agree There is a very strong case against TrumpDespite what they say, the question of whether the former president will actually be indicted is a difficult one.

John Yu, formerly George W. A Bush-era Justice Department staffer helped write “torture memos” on interrogation techniques after the Sept. 11 attacks, and his views on executive power suggest the president could order the massacre of a village. Trump’s actions are against the law.

“Trump is not allowed to have the records and keep them. He can get copies. But he can’t keep them out of the archives. That’s settled,” Yu said in an interview at the National Conservative Conference. “It’s not whether Trump broke the law. He did. It’s not whether the government has legitimate grounds for the search warrant. It does. The question is whether he can actually be charged.”

“The real issue, and I think both sides have to recognize this, is whether charging him is a good use of prosecutorial discretion — judgment?” Yu said. “So my view is that if you’re going to go after a president for breaking a law for the first time in American history, I think it has to be a lot more important than this. For example, the January 6 coup.”

Trump’s new filing marks the first time he has been called “The Clinton Sock Drawer Case” A 2012 ruling related to the authority of a former president — in this case, Bill Clinton — to unilaterally determine what constitutes a personal record and presidential records legal document in post-presidential office.

The case was brought by the conservative group Judicial Watch — which sought to force Clinton to turn over tapes made during her presidency. According to a 2007 CBS report, stored at some point in a sock drawer. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, appointed by President Barack Obama, ruled that Clinton did not have to turn over the records because they were private.

However, what started was not mentioned by Trump’s defenders The sock drawer case raised the issue last month Jackson’s ruling expressly states that the Presidential Records Act distinguishes presidential records from “personal records,” which are defined as documents that are “not strictly private or public in nature.”