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Tag: Mar-a-lago

FBI Seized Nearly 200,000 Pages of Documents from Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Attorneys Reveal

By Steve Neavling

When FBI agents searched former President Trump’s Florida home, they seized nearly 200,000 pages of documents, his lawyers revealed in a court filing. 

“[W]hen Plaintiff’s counsel referred to either 11,000 pages or even 11,000 documents during the status conference (we are still awaiting the transcript), the Government chose not to interject with an accurate number,” Trump’s attorneys wrote. “In conversations between Plaintiff’s counsel and the Government regarding a data vendor, the Government mentioned that the 11,000 documents contain closer to 200,000 pages.”

The attorneys made the revelation in a letter to the special master inspecting the documents, arguing that more time is needed for a review of the records. 

“Plaintiff respectfully suggests that Your Honor and the parties will be best served by having the retained vendor convey a supportable timeframe for scanning roughly 200,000 pages into a platform,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “It would be better to base deadlines on actual data and not wistful claims by the Government.”

The attorneys argued that the government’s timeline for the review is “overly optimistic and aggressive.”

Trump’s lawyers are asking for the deadline to be pushed to mid-October. 

U.S. District Senior Judge Raymond Dearie has been appointed special master, a third-party review responsible for reviewing the documents. 

Appeals Court Grants DOJ Access to Mar-a-Lago Records

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department scored a victory in its investigation of classified material that former President Trump took home to Mar-a-Lago after he left office. 

The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the Justice Department can resume using the material in its probe of Trump’s document handling. 

The Justice Department had appealed a ruling by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon that temporarily prevented investigators from continuing to use the documents. Cannon, a Trump appointee, had paused the review pending a review by an independent arbiter at the request of Trump’s team.

The Justice Department “argues that the district court likely erred in exercising its jurisdiction to enjoin the United States’ use of the classified records in its criminal investigation and to require the United States to submit the marked classified documents to a special master for review,” a three-judge panel of the appeals court wrote, according to The New York Times. “We agree.”

Trump made the bizarre claim in an interview that aired late Wednesday that he could declassify documents by just saying so. 

“You can declassify just by saying ‘it’s declassified,’ even by thinking about it,” Mr. Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News.

Trump Complains about FBI Searching His Home with Their Shoes on

Former President Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling

Former President Trump was back to huffing and puffing about the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, lashing out at agents for not taking off their shoes when they searched his bedroom. 

Trump made the comments Monday morning, after returning to his Florida home for the first time since the Aug. 8 raid. 

On his social media platform Truth Social, Trump said he returned to the home to “check out the scene of yet another government ‘crime.’”

Calling the search a “Raid and Break-In of my home,” Trump fumed about the agents.

“I guess they don’t think there is a Fourth Amendment anymore, and to them, there isn’t,” Trump posted on Truth Social.

“In any event, after what they have done, the place will never be the same. It was ‘ransacked,’ and in far different condition than the way I left it. Many Agents – And they didn’t even take off their shoes in my bedroom. Nice!!!”

Trump has repeatedly complained about the raid. 

“Terrible the way the FBI, during the Raid of Mar-a-Lago, threw documents haphazardly all over the floor (perhaps pretending it was me that did it!), and then started taking pictures of them for the public to see. Thought they wanted them kept Secret?” Trump posted on Truth Social on Aug. 31.

On the same day, Trump alleged the FBI was being “very deceiving” for posing top-secret documents for a photo . 

During a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Sept. 3, Trump described the FBI and Justice Department as “vicious monsters, controlled by radical-left scoundrels.”

Trump’s hyperbolic rhetoric has incensed his supporters and prompted concerns about the safety of FBI agents. 

In a 54-page court filing last month, federal prosecutors said the raid on Trump’s house in Florida came after he and his advisers refused to turn over highly classified documents. 

DOJ Says It Will Appeal Special Master Ruling for Trump Documents

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department plans to appeal U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon’s order to allow a special master to review the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago last month if the judge doesn’t restore investigators’ access to the material.  

On Monday, Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review the documents, preventing investigators from reviewing the highly-sensitive material that was found at former President Trump’s house in Florida. 

In a court filing, prosecutors said the order would cause “irreparable harm” to federal authorities’ efforts to protect national security, Politico reports

“In order to assess the full scope of potential harms to national security resulting from the improper retention of the classified records, the government must assess the likelihood that improperly stored classified information may have been accessed by others and compromised,” Justice Department counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt said in the filing. “But that inquiry is a core aspect of the FBI’s criminal investigation.”

Bratt argued that Trump has no right to claim ownership of the classified documents. 

“That authority falls upon the incumbent President, not on any former President, because it is the incumbent President who bears the responsibility to protect and defend the national security of the United States,” Bratt wrote.

In a 54-page court filing last week, federal prosecutors said the raid on Trump’s house in Florida came after he and his advisers refused to turn over highly classified documents.

Barr Says DOJ ‘Getting Very Close’ to Indicting Trump, But Shouldn’t Charge Him

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Former Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday that he believes the Justice Department is “getting very close” to having sufficient evidence to indict former President Trump for removing classified documents when he left the White House.

In an interview with Fox News, Barr said that investigators must decide if they can make a “technical” case against Trump for stashing the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. 

“I think they’re getting very close to that point, frankly,” Barr, who was Trump’s attorney general, said. 

Barr said there’s another issue, and that’s whether to indict a former president. 

“What will that do to the country, what kind of precedent will that set, will the people really understand that this is not, you know, failing to return a library book, that this was serious,” Barr said.

Ultimately, Barr said, he doesn’t want Trump to be indicted. 

“And so you have to worry about those things, and I hope that those kinds of factors will incline the administration not to indict him, because I don’t want to see him indicted as a former president,” Barr said.

He added, “But I also think they’ll be under a lot of pressure to indict him, because — one question is, look, if anyone else would have gotten indicted, why not indict him?”

Barr is not alone in thinking Trump could soon be indicted. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told MSNBC that he expects the Justice Department will soon indict Trump.

“If the adage that no one is above the law holds true, then Donald should have been indicted already and facing consequences,” said Cohen. “I think that there’s going to be an indictment and relatively soon. I believe there will also be congressional hearings with Donald in the hot seat where, you know, either he’ll come in willingly—which I don’t think he will—or via subpoena.”

In a 54-page court filing last week, federal prosecutors said the raid on Trump’s house in Florida came after he and his advisers refused to turn over highly classified documents.

Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, a decision that will temporarily prevent federal prosecutors from using the documents in their investigation. 

Slim Majority of Voters Say FBI’s Search of Trump’s Home Was Appropriate

Former President Trump

By Steve Neavling

A little more than half of registered voters believe the FBI’s search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was appropriate, according to a new Wall Street Journal poll.

The poll found that 52% agreed with the statement that the search was “part of a legal and proper investigation” in trying to determine whether Trump wrongfully possessed classified documents. 

About 41% of respondents considered the search as “just another example of the endless witch hunt and harassment the Democrats and Biden administration continue to pursue against former President Trump.”

When asked if they believed the search was part of a “witch hunt,” about 80% of Republicans said they did, compared to about a third of independents and 5% of Democrats. 

Just over half of the respondents – 51% – said the search would not affect whether they’ll vote in the midterms in November. 

About 64% of Republicans said the search would make them more likely to vote in November. 

Last month, the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago as part of an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified documents.

Earlier this week, the Justice Department said it has evidence that classified documents were “likely concealed and removed” from a room in the Florida resort and “that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”

Trump Left Washington D.C. with 700 Pages of Classified Documents, Letter States

Former President Trump

By Steve Neavling

Former President Donald Trump kept more than 700 pages of classified documents when he left Washington D.C. in January 2021, including some containing top secrets, the National Archives disclosed Tuesday.

The May 10 letter was sent to one of Trump’s lawyers, Evan Corcoran.

The author of the letter, U.S. archivist Debra Steidel Wall, objected to claims that Trump should be allowed to keep some of the documents. 

A damage assessment by top department prosecutors and intelligence community were delayed because Trump’s lawyers insisted some of the documents might have been protected by executive privilege. 

According to the letter, “over 100 documents with classification markings” were found in 15 boxes of material retrieved from Mar-a-Lago in January. 

U.S. Archivists also retrieved documents in June, and earlier this month, FBI agents searched Trump’s home and retrieved an additional two dozen boxes. 

Since the search, threats of violence against the FBI have increased.

FBI Begins Investigating Handling of Classified Documents Removed from Trump’s White House

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is starting to investigate former President Trump for removing 15 boxes of White House records that contained classified documents, The New York Times reports.

The records were taken from the White House at the end of Trump’s term and were found at his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago after he left office. 

The Justice Department said the investigation is in its preliminary stages. 

The National Archives was ordered not to disclose details about the documents to the House Oversight Committee, which is conducting its own investigation. 

In turn, committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., accused the Justice Department of obstructing the committee’s probe, The Washington Post reports.

In a letter Thursday to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Maloney requested an explanation.

“The Committee does not wish to interfere in any manner with any potential or ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice,” Maloney wrote. “However, the Committee has not received any explanation as to why the Department is preventing NARA from providing information to the Committee that relates to compliance with the [Presidential Records Act], including unclassified information describing the contents of the 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago.”