Former US President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is seen on February 8, 2021 in Palm Beach, Florida.
Marco Bello | Reuters
The Justice Department urged a federal judge Tuesday night to oppose a request to appoint a special master to review documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida home earlier this month.
Trump had He sued to obstruct the judiciary From further investigation of any items seized in the raid, till the special monitoring committee appointed by the court examines them.
“As a preliminary matter, the former president does not have judicial relief or standing to oversee presidential records because those records are not his own,” the DOJ wrote in the U.S. District Court in South Florida.
Not only would appointing a special master be “unnecessary,” the attorneys wrote, but doing so would “substantially harm important government interests, including national security interests.”
That harm included interfering with the intelligence community’s “continuous review of the national security risk” that could have been caused by “improper storage of these highly sensitive materials,” the DOJ argued.
Documents seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago
Department of Justice
The response came a day after the DOJ disclosed it to a federal judge Examination of the seized items has been completed.
A law enforcement panel has identified “limited” material that may be protected by the attorney-client privilege, the DOJ told the court on Monday. That privilege often refers to a legal doctrine that protects the confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and their client.
The so-called privilege review panel — separate from the investigation that led the FBI to search Trump’s home earlier this month — follows a process to “resolve potential privilege disputes, if any,” the DOJ wrote.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, or ODNI, “is also conducting an intelligence community assessment of the potential risk to national security posed by the release of these materials,” according to the filing.
The DOJ is conducting a criminal investigation into the removal and delivery of White House documents to Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach when he left office.
By law, presidential records must be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration when the president leaves office.
Before the DOJ released its midnight response, a group of former government officials asked the judge to allow the filing of “amici curiae” — Latin for “friends of the court” — arguing against Trump’s claims.
The group includes six former federal prosecutors who served in Republican administrations and former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman, who served as a Republican and supported President Joe Biden over Trump in 2020.
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