Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

    DOJ says in new court filing that Trump’s Mar-a-Lago lawsuit ‘fails for multiple, independent reasons’ and is full of ‘meritless accusations’

    The Justice Department said Donald Trump’s accusations against the government were “meritless.”

    The DOJ said in a court filing that Trump’s Mar-a-Lago lawsuit “fails for multiple, independent reasons.”
    Trump filed the lawsuit last week requesting that a special master be appointed to sift through evidence the FBI seized in its Mar-a-Lago search.
    The DOJ said Trump isn’t entitled to that recourse because “those records don’t belong to him.”

    The Justice Department late Tuesday urged a federal judge to reject Donald Trump’s request for a court-appointed “special master” to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago, arguing that the former president is not entitled to any such recourse “because those records don’t belong to him.”

    “Not only does Plaintiff lack standing to raise these claims at this juncture, but even if his claims were properly raised, Plaintiff would not be entitled to the relief he seeks,” the filing said.

    The department went on to argue that Trump’s lawsuit “fails for multiple, independent reasons” and that it has “shown no basis for the Court to grant injunctive relief.”

    The filing came a week after Trump sued to stop the Justice Department from continuing its review of materials seized from Mar-a-Lago. In the lawsuit, Trump’s lawyers asked Judge Aileen Cannon to order investigators to halt that review until she appointed an outside expert — known as a “special master” — to determine whether any of the material taken by federal agents is privileged.

    Cannon, a Trump appointee confirmed in 2020, indicated in a weekend order that she was inclined to grant Trump’s request for an independent special master. She also ordered the Justice Department to file under seal a more detailed inventory of materials seized during the August 8 search of Trump’s residence and private club in South Florida.

    The judge set a hearing for 1 p.m. Thursday at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach.

    In a court filing Monday, the Justice Department said it identified a “limited set of materials that potentially contain attorney-client privileged information.” A team specially assigned to filter out such information is following procedures to address potential privilege disputes, the Justice Department said.

    FBI agents removed more than two dozen boxes of materials from Mar-a-Lago during the August 8 search, including 11 sets of classified documents, several of them categorized as top secret. On Friday, Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, told lawmakers that her office was leading an assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the release of those materials.

    In a separate court proceeding, the Justice Department on Friday unsealed a public version of the affidavit in support of the search warrant for Trump’s home. Though heavily redacted, the document provided the clearest description to date of the FBI’s rationale for pursuing an unprecedented search of a former president’s home.

    According to the affidavit, the FBI decided to seek a search warrant after reviewing 184 classified documents, including some that appeared to bear Trump’s handwriting, that the former president turned over to the National Archives in January. In the months that followed, the affidavit states, FBI agents came to suspect that Trump and his team were concealing the fact that he continued to store classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

    “There is also probable cause,” the affidavit said, “to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found.”

    A previously unsealed search warrant specified that the Justice Department is investigating whether Trump violated the Espionage Act and other laws governing the handling of government records.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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