Everything we know so far came after a federal appeals court sided with the Justice Department and hung up on the nearly 100 classified documents seized at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, allowing the DOJ to Allows it to continue its investigation into whether the former president violated federal law because a third-party special master reviews unclassified documents.
What they are checking: The Justice Department is investigating whether Trump violated three federal statutes when he brought White House materials back with him to Mar-a-Lago instead of turning them into the National Archives.
how did it start: Trump voluntarily handed over 15 boxes of documents to the National Archives in January, and the DOJ launched an investigation in February after the classified material was brought back to Mar-a-Lago—eventually a subpoena for additional material in June. To serve and then a-Lago in March-August when it appeared so Trump’s lawyers didn’t actually turn over all the documents.
What’s in the Documents: Trump brought thousands of documents to Mar-a-Lago with him, including hundreds of classified material, some of which had the most top-secret designations, and Washington Post reports Documents may include details of other countries’ nuclear capabilities.
What the DOJ alleges: The government alleged in court filings that Trump and his team “hidden and removed” documents from a storage room at Mar-a-Lago, which could hinder its investigation, and that Trump and his team in unauthorized locations. Accused of storing classified material.
What crimes would Trump have committed: The DOJ is investigating whether Trump violated three federal statutes, including the Espionage Act, which largely deal with the mishandling of government and national security documents and fines between three and 20 years or a maximum prison sentence, depending on the statute. give possible punishment of punishment.
How Trump has reacted: Trump has denied any wrongdoing, has raided the DOJ’s investigation and the Mar-a-Lago search on social media, and has a third-party special master to review documents seized from a federal judge in Florida. to appoint and filter any content. Lawyer-client privilege or executive privilege.
Search warrant issued: The DOJ opened the search warrant used to search Mar-a-Lago and used a modified version of the affidavit used to obtain it in response to further calls for transparency, which revealed that Agents took what they took from Mar-a-Lago and what they believed was the probable cause that the Florida estate would have “proof of obstruction” and more documents that were not turned over.
Special Master Fight: US District Judge Eileen M. Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, sided with the former president and provided a special master to review seized documents to filter out any material covered by attorney-client or executive privilege—the DOJ Despite the U.S. arguing such a review would be unnecessary and hinder its investigation—and then ruled against the DOJ’s request to walk back to allow its order to hang on to the nearly 100 documents.
Raymond Deary: Cannon appointed former U.S. District Judge Raymond Deary to serve as special master—Trump’s lawyers suggested him and the DOJ said they had no problem with his name—who had to complete his review by November 30. The Trump team in court, has been directed to and has so far been skeptical of the Trump team, refusing to specifically say that Trump actually declassified the documents he brought with him to Mar-a-Lago.
Where are we now: After Canon ruled against the DOJ, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in its favor on Wednesday, allowing it to continue reviewing classified documents and not handing them over to Dearie, meaning the agency continues its investigation. Because Dear non-classified documents for any privileged material.
over 11,000. he is number of ingredients The DOJ seized at Mar-a-Lago, according to court filings, 11,179 unclassified materials, 103 documents containing classified marks—18 of which were labeled "top secret"—and 48 empty folders that were "classified." " was labeled. Although the DOJ told Trump's lawyers to keep all White House materials in a secure storage room, 27 documents with classified labels were found in Trump's office. The White House material seized in August comes after Trump voluntarily handed over 15 boxes of documents to the National Archives in January, and his lawyers handed over 38 documents with classified markings to federal prosecutors in response to a grand jury subpoena in June. lamps.
what to see
A three-judge panel in the 11th Circuit ruled in favor of the DOJ on classified documents—two justices Trump appointed—but Trump could now appeal the decision and asked the appeals court to consider the full slate of judges. could. Depending on the rules of the full court, the DOJ or even Trump can appeal the case to the Supreme Court. Trump will pay all costs for the special master's 11-week review, and while Cannon's order bars the DOJ from using unclassified White House material in its criminal investigation, the agency is still required to file documents in Mar-A. Allowed to check the storage of. -Applicable unless their works involve the actual content of the documents. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is reviewing the documents as part of its investigation into whether the keeping of the documents at Mar-a-Lago posed a national security risk, which is now going ahead in light of the 11th Circuit's decision. As the DOJ previously argued, the ODNI and DOJ investigations were "inextricably linked" and would be harmed by the DOJ's order to stop reviewing classified documents.
what we don't know
If there are still more documents that Trump hasn't turned over yet. The House Oversight Committee has asked the National Archives to review the material to determine whether White House materials are still missing, noting in a letter that the archives told lawmakers it was not sure. that "all presidential records are in its custody or not." Former Trump adviser John Bolton and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen suggested He believes it is possible that the former president could have brought White House documents with him to other properties, such as Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, although there is no evidence to support this so far. Is.
Trump has argued that the documents he brought with him are declassified at Mar-a-Lago, and his lawyers have said in court filings that the DOJ cannot say that documents with classified markings are, in fact, classified. Given that Trump could downgrade them. Lawyers for the former president did not tell the court that Trump had actually declassified any of the documents, and told Dearie that he declined to respond if he did, because if Trump is charged. So it can damage their defenses later. Both Dearie and the 11th Circuit were skeptical of that argument, however, and while Trump has Claimed Legal experts say he can declassify documents just "thinking about it" Told it is not likely He could have declassified the documents without following proper protocol. Even if Trump declassifies the material, it may have no effect on him facing criminal charges because the federal laws he's under investigation are subject to government documents or materials affecting national security. , and do not specify the documents that should be classified.
The investigation into the Mar-a-Lago documents is one of many to threaten Trump now that he has left office. The Justice Department is conducting a separate investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol building and of Trump and his allies' attempts to reverse the 2020 election, reportedly with investigators becoming In recent months there has been more interest in Trump himself and witnesses to the conversations with the then-president. The district attorney's office in Fulton County, Georgia, is investigating Trump's post-election efforts in that state, including a call he made with Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger in which Trump told him enough to change the results. Was asked to vote. , New York Attorney General Letitia James...
Credit: www.forbes.com /