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Donald Trump’s Lawyers Take Aim At Mar-a-Lago Probe; Call It ‘Misguided’


WASHINGTON (AP) — A criminal investigation into the presence of top-secret information at former President Donald Trump’s Florida home has “spiraled uncontrolled,” his lawyers said Monday in urging a judge to go away in place a directive that temporarily halted core features of the Justice Department’s probe.

The Trump team also referred to the documents that were seized as “purported” classified records, suggesting his lawyers don’t concede the Justice Department’s contention that highly sensitive, top-secret documents were found by the FBI in its Aug. 8 search of Mar-a-Lago. The lawyers also asserted that there isn’t a evidence any of the records were ever disclosed to anyone, and that not less than among the documents belong to him and never to the Justice Department.

The 21-page filing underscores the numerous factual and legal disagreements between lawyers for Trump and the U.S. government because the Justice Department looks to maneuver forward with its criminal investigation into the illegal retention of national defense information at Mar-a-Lago and into the potential obstruction of that probe.

The investigation hit a roadblock last week when U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted the Trump team’s request for the appointment of an independent arbiter, also often known as a special master, to review the seized records and prohibited for now the department from examining the documents for investigative purposes.

The Justice Department has asked the judge to lift that hold and said it will appeal her ruling to a federal appeals court. The department said its investigation risked being harmed beyond repair if that order was not lifted, noting that confusion about its scope and meaning had already led the intelligence community to pause a separate risk assessment it was doing.

But Trump’s lawyers said in their very own motion Monday that the order was a “sensible preliminary step towards restoring order from chaos.” They asked Cannon to go away it in place.

“This investigation of the forty fifth President of america is each unprecedented and misguided,” they wrote. “In what at its core is a document storage dispute that has spiraled uncontrolled, the Government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the forty fifth President of his own Presidential and private records.”

Within the meantime, either side on Friday night each proposed different names of candidates who could serve within the role of a special master, though they disagreed on the precise scope of duties the person must have.

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