DOJ prosecutors make public a photo of classified docs seized during Mar-a-Lago raid

Late Tuesday night, President Joe Biden’s Justice Department released a photograph of a bunch of classified documents spread out on the floor of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

According to the Washington Examiner, the photo was included with a last-minute, pre-midnight filing to oppose Trump’s request for a special master to review the documents that were seized. 

The image showed several documents on the floor with various coverings that indicate the classification of each document.

An issue of Time Magazine with Trump on the cover can also be seen in a box in the photo.

“Lacks standing”

The government prosecutors in charge of the case argued that the president and his legal team lack standing to be appointed a special master.

“Plaintiff’s motion to appoint a special master, enjoin further review of seized materials, and require the return of seized items fails for multiple, independent reasons. As an initial matter, the former President lacks standing to seek judicial relief or oversight as to Presidential records because those records do not belong to him,” the filing read. ]

It added: “The Presidential Records Act makes clear that ‘the United States’ has ‘complete ownership, possession, and control’ of them. Furthermore, this Court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment challenges to the validity of the search warrant and his arguments for returning or suppressing the materials seized.”

“The government’s filter team has already completed its work of segregating any seized materials that are potentially subject to attorney-client privilege, and the government’s investigative team has already reviewed all of the remaining materials, including any that are potentially subject to claims of executive privilege,” the DOJ filing added.

Intent

Judge Aileen Cannon of the Southern District of Florida, a Trump appointee, had already indicated she’s leaning toward appointing a special master.

“Pursuant to Rule 53(b) (1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s inherent authority, and without prejudice to the parties’ objections, the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case,” the judge wrote last week.

Only time will tell if she follows through with the appointment, but either way, the decision will undoubtedly make waves.

 

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