The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed that the former president’s legal team deceived the federal government and released a picture of purportedly confidential documents found during the search on his Mar-a-Lago home.
The DOJ addressed the investigation against Trump and the former president’s up to that point compliance in a fresh 36-page document late on Tuesday.
Despite being subpoenaed and pledging a “diligent search” to locate any records, the federal government accused Trump of routinely neglecting to return confidential White House materials.
In the brief, DOJ counterintelligence head Jay Bratt stated, “The government also gathered evidence that government data were likely disguised and removed from the Storage Room and that steps were likely conducted to hinder the government’s investigation.”
Bratt went on:
“It calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and raises doubts regarding the extent of cooperation in this matter that the FBI, in a matter of hours, found twice as many papers and documents with classification marks as the full search that the former President’s legal team and other officials had weeks to complete.”
The first images of the documents confiscated in the Mar-a-Lago raid earlier this month were included in the DOJ petition and showed numerous documents with redactions and others that were marked “TOP SECRET/SCI.”
Even the FBI counterintelligence staff and DOJ attorneys doing the assessment, according to the Justice Department, needed extra clearances before they were allowed to study any of the papers because they were so classified.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines disclosed on Friday that an assessment of the secret materials by American intelligence analysts will be conducted to identify any potential national security risks.
Any White House documents taken during the Mar-a-Lago raid, according to the DOJ brief, “belong to the United States, not to the former President.”
Trump’s new request for an impartial examination of the seized records is opposed by the DOJ’s motion from Tuesday, which Federal Judge Aileen M. Cannon will hear on Thursday.
When his legal team submitted the application for judicial oversight, Trump stated, “We are now demanding that the Department of “Justice” be told to immediately STOP the study of materials unlawfully stolen from my house.” “ALL papers have already undergone declassification.”
By Wednesday night, Trump’s legal team should have a response to the opposition motion from the government.
Trump appointee Judge Cannon stated last week that she had “preliminary intent to appoint a special master,” but she also stated that her ruling “should not be regarded as a final finding on Plaintiff’s Motion.”