The president’s attorneys got a grand jury subpoena earlier this summer, and the Biden DOJ is now suggesting that there may have been an attempt to conceal sensitive documents.
Prosecutors said in the new document that DOJ “developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed” and that “that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,” from a storage locker in Mar-A-Lago.
In contrast to these recent claims, the former president Trump and his legal team have consistently stated that they have complied with all FBI and DOJ requests regarding the documents they have in their possession and that they are willing to return any that the government feels should be kept in the National Archives.
Trump has said that while some of the documents would eventually end up in his presidential library, he may temporarily hand them over.
A picture of the evidence taken during the August 8 raid on Trump’s Florida office, including files designated secret and top secret, was provided by prosecutor Jay Bratt.
Trump has claimed that although the records had previously been classified, he had personally declassified them before leaving the White House.
According to Bratt, not all classified materials were found during a previous search carried out by Trump’s attorneys in June in response to a grand jury.
The FBI agents “uncovered multiple sources of evidence indicating that the response to the the May 11 grand jury subpoena was incomplete and that classified documents remained at the premises, notwithstanding the sworn certification made to the government on June 3,” Bratt said.
“In particular, the government developed evidence that a search limited to the storage room would not have uncovered all the classified documents at the premises.”
According to the complaint, “The FBI, in a matter of hours, recovered twice as many documents with classification markings as the ‘diligent search’ that the former president’s counsel and other representatives had weeks to perform.”
The FBI on the scene asked that the CCTV surveillance cameras be turned off during the search of the Trump residence in Florida and forbade any members of the Trump family or their attorneys from watching the operation.
The film of the search that was captured by cameras but was not turned off by the Trumps is in their hands. The video has not yet been made public.
Why a Trump adviser or attorney was not permitted to be present during the search remains a mystery.
The raid’s material, according to the DOJ,“calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”
Bratt questioned the president’s lawyers’ assertions that their client’s documents may be protected from the Biden administration’s assertion of executive privilege.
The executive privilege exemption and attorney-client privilege have also been cited by Trump’s attorneys in relation to some of the documents.
Trump and his counsel asked the court for clarification regarding the documents because of the stark discrepancy in the statements made by either side.
In an effort to bring objectivity to the proceedings, former President Trump formally requested earlier this week that a “special master” be appointed to lead the assessment of the records.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
A mere 4 days ago, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, stated that she is inclined to grant Donald Trump’s request to bring in an outsider to oversee the review of the more than two boxes of materials the FBI seized.
She made this statement in writing in a two-page order giving “notice of [her] preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case” less than a day after Trump’s attorneys made the request. CONTINUE READING…