Trump drops attorney-client claims over Mar-a-Lago documents

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump dropped his initial claims of attorney-client privilege governing nearly 100 pages of documents seized at his Mar-a-Lago estate, but disputes about executive privilege remain for three records, according to a filing Monday from Trump and the Justice Department.

The disputes are what the special master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, aims to resolve while reviewing about 11,000 documents. FBI agents seized the records from Mar-a-Lago while searching for evidence of violations of the Espionage Act or obstruction of justice.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon appointed Dearie to determine whether to withhold documents from the Justice Department’s criminal investigation because they were personal records or fell under attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.

Trump withdrew his claims of attorney-client privilege for nine documents totaling nearly 100 pages, according to the joint filing from lawyers on both sides. Trump and government lawyers agreed the documents could be turned over immediately to investigators, according to the filing.

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were seized during the search.

Pages from a Department of Justice court filing on Aug. 30, 2022, in response to a request from the legal team of former President Donald Trump for a special master to review the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, are photographed early Wednesday, Aug. 31. Included in the filing was a FBI photo of documents that were seized during the search.

The joint filing Monday came after a dustup at a hearing Tuesday, when Dearie encouraged lawyers from both sides to determine where they truly disagree about the status of documents.

Government lawyers said in a filing Thursday that Trump contested nine documents as personal records, including two about immigration he argued also fell under executive privilege.

Six of the nine documents deal with clemency requests, two with immigration and one with a sports program at a military academy.

Trump’s lawyers had said Friday the government’s list “does not accurately reflect” the former president’s position. Trump claimed three documents totaling 19 pages should fall under executive privilege, a policy to keep presidential communications confidential to invite candid advice from aides.

Dearie’s review is scheduled to be completed Dec. 16.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump drops attorney-client claims over Mar-a-Lago documents

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