Trump lawyers are resisting a judicial effort to regain access to seized documents

Washington – Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers on Monday urged a federal judge to continue blocking Justice Department investigators from reviewing more than 100 sensitive documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago. Between the former president’s legal team and federal prosecutors.

A 21 page answer Trump’s lawyers called the federal probe into his handling of sensitive records “unprecedented and wrongful” in response to a Justice Department request asking the court to lift part of an order barring the use of documents for investigative purposes. The alleged ‘classified records’ were disclosed to anyone.”

“In fact, it appears that such ‘classified records’, along with other seized material, were kept primarily in storage boxes in a locked room at Mar-a-Lago, a secure, restricted-access compound. The United States during the Trump presidency is monitored by the US Secret Service to this day,” Trump’s lawyer said. The committee told the court.

Separately Filing On Monday afternoon, the former president’s lawyers objected to two nominees proposed by the Justice Department — retired judges Barbara Jones, who served on the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and Thomas Griffith, who served on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. To serve as an independent third party to review records seized by the FBI during the August 8 search at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump’s legal team did not elaborate on why the former president is opposing the Justice Department’s special primary counsel, saying, “Withholding the grounds for public opposition is highly respectable for both party candidates, and likely to be widely distributed. , pleading.” They asked the court to allow Jones and Griffith to present their objections only if the judge was “willing to receive and consider that information.”

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The Justice Department said in its own statement Filing On Monday evening, the court must choose one of its nominees, either Jones or Griffith or Trump’s nominee, Raymond Deary. Now Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, he is a former Chief Justice of that court and has served as a judge on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

“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,” federal prosecutors said. Duties.

The Justice Department said it “respectfully opposes” a second potential special master proposed by Trump’s lawyers: Paul Huck, a former general counsel to then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. The Justice Department noted that Hough “does not appear to have had similar experience.”

The records from Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department stem from his request last month for a neutral third party to review material seized by federal investigators. U.S. District Judge Eileen Cannon Approved the appointment Last week, the Special Master and the federal prosecutors announced A federal court in South Florida intended to appeal Cannon’s decision last week.

Justice Department lawyers, including its top national security officials asked Cannon Part of his ruling was suspended to allow investigators to continue to review a tranche of 103 records marked “secret,” “top secret” or “confidential.”

Federal prosecutors argued in court documents that the classification markings “establish on the face of the documents that they are government records,” not Trump’s personal records. They warned that the government and the wider public would feel “irreparable harm” if the material could not be reviewed and used in a criminal investigation into the former president’s handling of sensitive records.

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The Justice Department told the court last week that temporarily preventing investigators from reviewing and using sensitive records taken from Mar-a-Lago would “frustrate the government’s ability to conduct an effective national security risk assessment and classification review. Harmful to security and intelligence interests.

But opposing federal prosecutors’ motion, the former president’s lawyers argued Monday that he has “broad authority” to declassify documents and, as a former president, has an “unfettered right” to access presidential records under the Presidential Records Act. They told the court that the dispute surrounding the records was a “document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control”.

“[T]Trump’s lawyers said his government is wrongfully trying to criminalize the 45th president’s possession of his own presidential and personal records.

A. accepted Trump’s request in his ruling last week Special Master, Cannon ordered the Justice Department to temporarily cease “reviewing and using” the materials for investigative purposes pending the completion of the special master’s review. However, he allowed the government to continue to review and use the seized records “for purposes of intelligence classification and national security assessments.”

Cannon ordered Trump and the Justice Department to submit a list of contenders to serve as special master and a proposed explanation of the mechanics of their review by Friday.

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