Attorneys for former President Donald Trump have filed an updated motion regarding the FBI’s confiscation of presidency documents from his Mar-a-Lago estate after a judge ordered them to restructure it.
The 12-page motion, filed in a federal court in Florida on Friday night, asks for the appointment of a neutral “Special Master” to review the documents taken from Trump’s resort earlier this month to find out if any could also be protected by executive privilege.
The filing was characterised as “supplemental” to an initial motion presented earlier this week. It was newly filed on the identical day that one other court released the affidavit supporting the FBI’s Aug. 8 search.
Friday night’s motion doesn’t mention the a whole lot of pages of classified documents seized throughout the search and other visits by investigators, Politico noted.
It also fails to say Trump’s insistence that he declassified all the fabric before it was taken from the White House — a claim that he and ally Kash Patel, the previous chief of staff to Trump’s acting defense secretary, have made repeatedly.
The motion cites a 1991 court decision concerning electronic communication, which determined that neither Congress nor the National Archives can “veto” a sitting president’s “disposal decision” regarding official records.
The judgment doesn’t, nevertheless, address issues concerning former presidents, nor does it say anything about certain legal violations around stashing White House records without the right authority, Politico identified.
Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon on Tuesday criticized the unique motion for failing to reply several of her questions and gave attorneys until Friday to reply them. She even supplied a link to a “sample motion” that they might seek the advice of.
The boxes that FBI agents took from Mar-a-Lago this month included 11 packets of classified material, a few of it top secret. Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, such documents should be turned over to the National Archives when a president leaves office.
Several legal experts appeared unimpressed with the updated motion.
In a tweet, appellate attorney Ted Boutrous called it “Very weak.”
“The crux of this motion—a request for a special master to maintain materials subject to executive privilege away from the Executive Branch—stays nonsensical,” tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. “And even when this motion is granted, it doesn’t move the ball forward for Trump.”
The crux of this motion—a request for a special master to maintain materials subject to executive privilege away from the Executive Branch—stays nonsensical. And even when this motion is granted, it doesn’t move the ball forward for Trump. https://t.co/pEFsdbBOG2
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) August 27, 2022