(CNN) Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has asked a federal judge to appoint a “special director” to ensure that the Justice Department returns all of his confidential documents seized during the Mar-a investigation. -Lago two weeks ago.
Trump is seeking a special counsel — a third-party attorney — to oversee the review of evidence gathered from the beach club in the criminal investigation, and a judge has suspended federal investigators’ work on the evidence until further notice. the review is done. committed, according to a new court filing.
The new lawsuit is the first time Trump’s team has filed a lawsuit after the FBI conducted their investigation on August 8 and shows how his legal team has tried to put together a single strategy. He was appointed to Judge Aileen Cannon, who Trump nominated to the bench in 2020.
In the lawsuit, Trump said that his constitutional rights were violated, and that there is a possibility that some valuables were seized.
Although the legal action could slow the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigation, Trump’s request to a federal court in South Florida could face a legal challenge after his team lost several opportunities to challenge the investigation. .
“As a result of the investigation that took place on August 8 at Mar-a-Lago, a federal court authorized the necessary investigation of that possibility. The department is aware of this afternoon’s motion. The United States will she filed a response before the court,” said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Justice. Anthony Coley said in response to the new filing.
The former president’s lawyers refused to take any position before the court after the execution warrant. They also did not consider whether the search warrant should be made public before or during a court hearing last week in West Palm Beach, Florida, although one of his lawyers here.
Trump, in the new filing, also asked for a detailed explanation of what was removed from Mar-a-Lago. This request, if approved, will add to the two documents that the FBI has already given to Trump’s team describing the 33 things that were seized, and which his lawyer signed at the end of the investigation.
The Justice Department has removed 11 confidential documents from Trump’s home, according to documents released by a judge last week. Statistics show that some of the material discovered is marked as “top secret/SCI,” which is one of the highest levels of classification.
The ministry has already indicated that it is using an internal filtering team to review the seized material, to separate material that could face privilege claims. For example, the investigators mentioned the work of the filter team when they returned to Trump some secret documents that will not be included in the investigation, such as the passport that ended with the diplomatic passport.
The Justice Department, in court documents, said it believed the evidence it collected at Mar-a-Lago would support its criminal investigation into the misappropriation of federal government information, including national security material. , after Trump’s team took boxes of information to Florida when he left. office. The investigation also looks at the possibility of obstruction of justice in the investigation.
The Justice Department said it was concerned that more publicly available information or knowledge of the Trump Organization could lead to misinformation or fraud. And, according to reports by CNN and the New York Times, Trump’s attorney told investigators in writing that no classified information was left at Mar-a-Lago after June. The FBI said in a list of items at the end of its investigation that there were some additional documents recovered.
A magistrate judge in the South Florida district reviewed the DOJ’s reasons for the investigation earlier this month and upheld it. The judge is now weighing whether he will give more information about the public investigation.
The three attorneys who signed the bill are Lindsey Halligan, Jim Trusty and Evan Corcoran. The entry includes a line about politics not affecting the administration of justice.
Trump’s team released his version of Mar-a-Lago’s investigation
Trump’s team gives his version of the Mar-a-Lago search
In filing the lawsuit, Trump’s lawyers presented the former president’s story on how the investigation failed, what happened to them and his downfall. Read also : Lawsuits filed against Florida condo association after collapse – JURIST – News.
The lawsuit also recounts a message to Attorney General Merrick Garland that Trump’s lawyers made to a senior Justice Department official by phone on August 11, a few days after the investigation.
“President Trump wants the Attorney General to know that he is hearing from people across the country about the attack,” Trump’s message said, according to the lawsuit. “If there’s one word to describe their attitude, it’s ‘angry.’ The heat is building, the pressure is building, everything I can do to reduce the pain, to reduce the pressure, let’s find out.”
The document states that at approximately 9:10 a.m. ET on the day of the investigation, the same senior Justice Department official — Jay Bratt, head of the National Security Department’s counterintelligence division — Department of Justice — called Trump’s lawyers on the phone and told them. A search warrant is being executed at Mar-a-Lago.
“There has been heated debate as to why the administration has not submitted a voluntary request for further investigation of the sites, given the extensive assistance President Trump has provided up to this point,” the lawsuit said.
According to Trump, the investigation lasted nine hours and involved two FBI agents.
The lawsuit also revisits Bratt’s request to turn off Mar-a-Lago’s surveillance cameras — a request the filing says was denied. Bratt also asked for the names of Trump’s lawyers who may have arrived at the investigation. The new lawsuit says Bratt refused the Trump team’s request for the document.
“Among other actions taken after being notified of this unprecedented event, President Trump’s attorney contacted three attorneys in the entire region who agreed to go to Mar-a-Lago,” the lawsuit said. “When they arrived, they asked for permission to enter the house to observe what the FBI officers were doing, which the government refused to accept.”
June meeting between Trump and Feds details
June meeting between Trump and feds detailed
Trump’s legal team also revealed, for the first time, their version of what happened in the criminal background check before the investigation — giving Trump himself a lot of agency. This may interest you : For victims of abuse, there’s Hope Inc. | Local News.
At a June 3 meeting where investigators visited Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s team said, “President Trump greeted them in the dining room,” and left the delegation with parting words, “Whatever you need, let us know.”
Investigators then searched a storage room, which Trump had authorized his attorney to do, the document said.
Five days later, when the Justice Department wrote a letter demanding that the vault be secured, “President Trump instructed his staff to put a second lock on the vault door, and then one more,” he said. his team.
Trump’s lawyers also said the former president ordered the approval of a Justice Department subpoena in late June that sought Mar-a-Lago surveillance camera footage. This is the first time that these investigative measures have been publicly disclosed in court.
The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reported Monday that investigators have requested more surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago even after the investigation.
Trump’s revelations could come into play as a federal judge weighs the fairness of the case. A lawyer for news organizations seeking access to the search warrant argued last week that the Justice Department’s version of events made public by the Trump team should be struck down.
The Justice Department has said it is investigating obstruction of justice as part of the investigation, and CNN and other media outlets have reported a lawyer representing Trump said no classified information was found at Mar-a-Lago. before the FBI’s investigation found some types of documents that were marked as classified.
In addition to seeking the appointment of a special counsel, Trump and his lawyers have used their lawsuit as a vehicle to rehash some of his complaints about the FBI’s years-long investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. the 2016 presidential election.
The card lashed out at “biased FBI agents” and criticized senior Russia investigators — including Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr, who all played a role in the FBI’s initial investigation. on the web of ties between the Trump campaign in 2016 and the Kremlin.
Trump made the claim in the lawsuit as part of his argument that the Justice Department and FBI are biased against him and that the Mar-a-Lago investigation is aimed at disrupting political affairs.
This article has been updated with additional reporting.
CNN’s Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.