Trump refuses to testify in court about DOJ inventory accuracy, Former President Trump is objecting to the special master’s plan to have him testify in court as to whether or not the Justice Department’s inventory of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago is accurate.
Ex-President Bush would have to publicly declare his suspicion that the FBI planted evidence during the August 8 search if he does not want to.
On Tuesday night, the Justice Department submitted a public submission to US District Judge Raymond Dearie, who is serving as special master. In it, they discussed Trump’s opposition to the request for the declaration, but they did so in a very general way. On Wednesday night, Trump’s lawyers filed a court filing making public Trump’s objection to the declaration.
They claimed there was no mention of a declaration from the Trump side in the court order appointing Dearie, but only from a government official verifying the Justice Department’s search inventory. The newly released filing is a letter Trump sent privately to Dearie on Sunday, in which he expresses his objection to the requirement “because the Special Master’s case management plan exceeds the grant of authority from the District Court on this issue.”
Trump also claimed that the plaintiff “currently has no means of accessing the documents bearing classification markings,” which are required to finish any such certification by September 30.
Trump’s team argued that US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who granted Trump’s request for the review, had no intention of having the documents from the search filed away in categories more specific than what Dearie is requesting.
Trump also objected to Dearie receiving a briefing on whether or not the magistrate judge who issued the search warrant should rule on certain legal motions relating to the search.
On Wednesday, the Trump team submitted the 200,000-page document count they claimed they found during the search, which contradicted their claims in the objection letter to Dearie they had sent on Sunday. Prosecutors have not found any new evidence since the day of the search, but the Trump team is worried about how quickly they will have to go through the collection now that they know how many pages are in each document.
Three of Trump’s lawyers wrote to Dearie on Wednesday asking for more time to sift through the mountain of documents, which the Justice Department had previously described as 11,000 items or documents.
Trump and others had federal and classified government records among the hundreds of thousands of unsecured pages at the Florida beach club after he left the presidency, and the Justice Department is investigating whether a crime was committed or whether the nation’s security was compromised as a result.
Recent days have seen the Trump camp and the Department of Justice attempt to retain a service that can host the documents digitally so that the special master process can be carried out. The government agency claimed in a court filing earlier this week that Trump’s legal team had informed them that the data hosting companies were unwilling to cooperate with the former President.
The members of his team have recently come to the conclusion that the volume of evidence may be the source of the problem.
As part of discussions with Plaintiff’s counsel about a potential data vendor, the Government disclosed that the 11,000 documents actually number closer to 200,000 pages. Many of the Government’s selected vendors have declined the potential engagement because of the large volume estimated and the need to operate under the accelerated timeframes supported by the Government,” Trump’s team wrote on Wednesday.
In his letter to Dearie on Wednesday, Trump expressed frustration that the Department of Justice’s filter team and the special master had not had the opportunity to review all of the potentially compromised attorney-client privileged communications.