Staff move boxes onto a truck on West Executive Avenue between the White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Constructing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.
Jim Lo Scalzo | Bloomberg | Getty Images
FBI agents seized nearly 200,000 pages of documents from the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump, his lawyers revealed in a recent court filing.
It was previously known that FBI agents took about 11,000 documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach during an Aug. 8 raid in reference to a criminal investigation of his removal of presidency documents from the White House when he left office in early 2021. Greater than 100 of the documents were classified or highly classified.
Wednesday night’s filing in Brooklyn federal court by Trump’s lawyers was the primary time that the massive variety of pages that comprise those documents was disclosed.
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The filing says the Department of Justice is being “overly optimistic and aggressive” about meeting deadlines for the scanning of the seized documents by an out of doors data vendor and their subsequent review by a so-called special master within the case.
That special master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, was appointed by one other federal judge to review the seized files to find out which ones, if any, are protected by the attorney-client privilege or executive privilege and exempt from use within the criminal probe.
Trump’s lawyers say that mid-October is a “realistic final production deadline,” versus the DOJ’s position that a vendor could complete the scanning process by Oct. 7.
A person walks past boxes that were moved out of the Eisenhower Executive Office constructing, just outside the West Wing, contained in the White House complex, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Washington.
Gerald Herbert | AP
A federal appeals court last week allowed the DOJ to resume using the classified documents that were seized from Mar-a-Lago in its probe.
The DOJ’s investigation hinges on the incontrovertible fact that, by law, government records within the possession of a president have to be given to the National Archives and Records Administration once they leave office.
The DOJ maintains that Trump doesn’t have the appropriate to invoke executive privilege over any of the federal government documents that were in his possession as he isn’t any longer president.