In a court filing on Tuesday, lawyers for former President Trump again questioned whether classified documents recovered by the FBI during the August investigation. 8 searches of his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate were in fact classified, but provided no evidence that Trump had declassified them.
Trump’s legal team has repeatedly hinted in court documents that the former president could have declassified the documents, but refrained from saying he did, as Trump and his allies have claimed. asserted in public.
“The government again presupposes that the documents it claims to be classified are, in fact, classified and that their segregation is inviolable. However, the government has yet to prove this critical fact,” the filing states.
On Friday, the Justice Department asked the Atlanta 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to block a special lead examination of classified documents found at Trump’s home in Palm Beach and to allow the department to continue using the documents in its investigation while a special master reviews other recovered documents.
Friday’s request from the Justice Department focused narrowly on the judge’s decision to ask the special master to assess the approximately 100 classified documents found during the search and to block the department from using the documents in its investigation. course until the review is complete, which could take months. . The judge allowed the intelligence community to pursue a national security review examining the potential harm of some of the country’s most important secrets left unsecured in a storage room and the former president’s office for nearly two years , but the Justice Department argued that the criminal investigation and national security review are inextricably linked.
Trump’s lawyers also argued in their filing Tuesday that Trump had a right under the Presidential Records Act to access the documents and that the government had failed to prove the harm that could result if a reprieve was not granted.
“Instead of detailing any irreparable harm he faces in the future, he attempts to focus on past events, claiming that ‘the documents were stored insecurely…’,” the filing reads. “It’s just not relevant.”
The filing also argues that the order appointing a special master and requiring the disclosure of classified documents is not immediately appealable.
“The government has criminalized a documentary dispute and now vehemently opposes a transparent process that merely provides much-needed oversight,” the filing said.
The Justice Department has already appealed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to appoint Raymond Dearie, senior judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, as a special master to examine more than 11,000 records seized during the search of Trump’s estate by the FBI.
Dearie summoned the parties to the Federal District Courthouse in Brooklyn, NY, for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday and instructed Trump’s team to provide information detailing the documents the former president intends to say that he declassified. Trump’s legal team resisted the order in a Monday filing, saying it could form the basis of a future defense strategy.