DOJ hints at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents probe

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department says efforts may have been made to obstruct the government’s investigation into the documents of a former president.

Donald TrumpHome of Mar-a-Lago a few months ago FBI agents raid a Florida estate In early August. Investigators said the records were found in locations other than the storage room where Mr Trump’s lawyers had assured them they were all kept.

A court filing late Tuesday objected to Trump’s proposal The documents were seized To be verified by a Third Party Arbitration It laid out the government’s most detailed timeline of the events that led to the unprecedented search of the campus.

36 page document Earlier this year Mr. It underscores the urgency the Justice Department believes it needs to protect classified material after Trump’s team failed to drop all of it during several less aggressive attempts to retrieve it.

In those proceedings, in May, Mr. Including the grand jury subpoena issued to the Trump team.

According to government filings, when FBI agents visited the Palm Beach property on June 3, Mr. A Trump representative handed over an accordion folder of documents. Another representative certified in writing that the group “provided any and all documents.” to the subpoena,” according to the filing.

And the Justice Department said that should not be the case at trial.

“The FBI has disclosed numerous evidence indicating that the response to the May 11 grand jury subpoena was incomplete and that classified documents remained on the premises, regardless of the certification promised to the government on June 3,” the filing said.

“The government produced evidence that government records may have been hidden and removed from a storage room and that efforts were made to obstruct the government’s investigation,” the Justice Department said.

Mr. A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment.

Mr. Two of Trump’s attorneys, Evan Corcoran and Christina Popp, were at Mar-a-Lago on June 3. Mr. The Justice Department wrote that no one said that Trump had classified the documents or asserted any claim to executive privilege. Doubts over filings, arguments have advanced in the weeks since his team’s capture.

An affidavit released Friday by the Justice Department said the boxes recovered from Mar-a-Lago earlier this year contained more than 184 classified documents and that there was probable cause to believe “additional documents” containing national security information remained. Photo: Jim Borg/Reuters

The Aug. 8 search, in which agents seized more than two dozen boxes, including 11 sets of classified documents, sparked a furious political response, with some GOP lawmakers rallying around the former president. Home in 2024.

U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon on Thursday ruled that Mr. Trump is scheduled to hold a hearing on the motion Thursday. He demanded that a special master be appointed. He is an arbitrator who reviews the evidence and decides whether certain items are protected by legal principles such as the attorney-client privilege.

Mr. Trump’s legal team has deep ties to the GOP, led by former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kiss, whose nomination became public on Tuesday.

The Justice Department has resisted the request on several grounds, including that it is pointless at this time. The Justice Department has said a team of lawyers and investigators, known as a filtering team, has already sifted through any documents. Subject to attorney-client privilege. The filter panel is separate from the panel that deals with ongoing criminal investigations of the judiciary.

Investigators “have already reviewed all remaining materials, including those subject to claims of administrative privilege,” the Justice Department filed Tuesday.

Mr. Kiss’s hiring comes amid internal debate in his circle about the quality of the former president’s legal team. Several lawyers have recently been approached to work on the case, but have declined, the people said.

Thursday’s hearing on the Special Master’s request, Mr. The first legal battle Kiss faces is Mr. He is leaving his firm, Foley & Lardner, to join Trump’s team, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. matter. He successfully argued cases before the US Supreme Court. A longtime activist in GOP politics, Mr. Kiss served on governments’ transition teams. Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis.

He became solicitor general under then-Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, then a Republican who ran for governor, and in November Mr. He is vacating a US House seat to run for the Democratic nomination against DeSantis.

Many lawyers turned down the job because Mr. They don’t think Trump will follow their legal advice and are worried about his reputation for not paying his legal fees, according to people familiar with the matter.

In the legal committee Mr. Adding Kise is Mr. Kise, a veteran attorney with experience in Florida, including the Southern District, where the court case is pending. NBC News announced the hiring on Tuesday.

“He’s a very serious lawyer and knows his way around the world of government and politics,” said Bob Martinez, a former US attorney for the Southern District of Florida with the law firm Colson Hicks Eidson and appointed by President George HW Bush.

“I hope this matter will be resolved amicably,” Mr. Martinez added. “My guess is that it’s not an investigation and ultimately a criminal prosecution. I think it’s always going to be the return of the records. I hope it ends there.

Write to Sadie Gurman at [email protected] and Alex Leary at [email protected]

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