Trump legal team responds to Justice Department on Mar-a-Lago documents review

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team on Monday responded to the Justice Department in the latest round of court filings regarding the review of materials specifically at his Mar-a-Lago country club last month.

Federal prosecutors on Thursday requested US District Judge Aileen Cannon to stay the portion of her ruling enjoining the government from further review of abut 100 documents bearing classification markings taken during the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago Aug. 8.

The government cited the risk of “irreparable harm” to national security and its ongoing criminal investigation if she declined to grant its request for a stay.

PHOTO: Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug.  30, 2022 are photographed early Wednesday, Aug.  31, 2022. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were hidden during the search.

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022 are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were hidden during the search.

Jon Elswick/AP

Cannon had required law enforcement to disclose those materials to a special master — an independent third-party — for review.

The DOJ said in Thursday’s court papers that if Cannon doesn’t grant a stay by Sept. 15, it will “intend to seek relief from the Eleventh Circuit” — a federal appeals court.

The Trump legal team began its brief Monday calling the DOJ’s investigation of Trump “both unprecedented and misguided,” claiming it was “a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control.”

His lawyers describe Cannon’s order appointing a special master as a “sensible preliminary step towards restoring orders from chaos” and urge her to reject the department’s motion for a stay that would prevent the handover of classified records that DOJ says has hampered their criminal investigation and the intelligence community’s national security risk assessment.

Trump’s lawyers argue there’s no evidence any “purported “classified records” were disclosed to anyone,” while describing Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club as a “secure, controlled access compound.”


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Trump Search: What May Come Next In Inquiry With Legal Peril

WASHINGTON (AP) — A newly released FBI document helps flesh out the contours of an investigation into classified material at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate. But plenty of questions remain, especially because half the affidavit, which spelled out the FBI’s rationale for searching the property, was blacked out.

That document, which the FBI submitted so it could get a warrant to search Trump’s winter home, provides new details about the volume and top secret nature of what was retrieved from Mar-a-Lago in January. It shows how Justice Department officials had raised concerns months before the search that closely held government secrets were being illegally stored — and then returned in August with a court-approved warrant and located even more classified records at the property.

It all raises questions whether a crime was committed and, if so, by whom. Answers may not come quickly.

A department official this month described the investigation as in its early stages, suggesting more work is ahead as investigators review the documents they removed and continue interviewing witnesses. Intelligence officials will simultaneously conduct an assessment of any risk to national security potentially created by the documents being disclosed.

At a minimum, the investigation presents a political distraction for Trump as he lays the groundwork for a potential presidential run.

Then there’s the obvious legal peril.


None of the government’s legal filings released so far singles out Trump — or anyone else — as a potential target of the investigation. But the warrant and accompanying affidavit make clear the investigation is active and criminal in nature.

The department is investigating potential violations of multiple laws, including an Espionage Act statute that governs gathering, transmitting or losing national defense information. The other laws deal with the mutilation and removal of records as

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