DOJ Voices Opposition to Special Master in Trump Case, Claims Classified Materials Were Concealed

The Biden Justice Department late Tuesday told a federal judge it opposes naming a special master to review evidence taken from Donald Trump’s Florida home, alleging there may have been an effort to conceal classified documents after the president’s lawyers received a grand jury subpoena earlier this summer.

DOJ “developed evidence that government records were likely concealed and removed” from a storage locker in Mar-A-Lago and “that efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation,” prosecutors argued in the new filing.

In its 36-page filing, DOJ said the former president’s request for a special master “fails for multiple, independent reasons,” including that it would “harm national security interests.”

Prosecutor Jay Bratt included a photo of evidence retrieved during the Aug. 8 raid from Trump’s Florida office, including files marked top secret and secret. Bratt said a prior search conducted by Trump lawyers in June in response to a grand jury did not retrieve all classified documents.

Agents “uncovered multiple sources of evidence indicating that the response to 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 wrote. “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.”


“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 filing added. 

DOJ said the material recovered in the raid “calls into serious question the representations made in the June 3 certification and casts doubt on the extent of cooperation in this matter.”

Bratt also called into question claims by the presidents lawyers that his materials can be shielded from the Biden ministration I claims of executive privilege.

A judge is expected to make a ruling on the special master as early as the end of this week.

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