DOJ wants Trump to be held in contempt of court: report

President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is pursuing contempt of court charges against former President Donald Trump, according to a report released by CNN on Friday. 

For the report, the outlet cites two anonymous sources who are described as being “familiar with the matter.”

Background

This is part of the ongoing documents dispute between Trump and the DOJ. This is the dispute that culminated in the DOJ conducting an unprecedented raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

Since that early August raid, the dispute has been playing out in the courts.

The DOJ maintains that Trump improperly took and stored confidential documents at Mar-a-Lago. Trump denies this, arguing that this is little more than a continuation of the politically motivated “witch hunt” that the political left has been conducting since before Trump even became president.

Why contempt?

The DOJ has tried to recover the allegedly confidential documents that are in Trump’s possession in several ways. And, one such way is through a subpoena.

According to CNN’s report, the DOJ, over the summer, obtained a subpoena requiring Trump to hand over all records marked as classified. Now, there is a dispute about whether or not Trump has complied with this subpoena.

CNN reports:

. . . Trump’s legal team said it conducted searches at four locations just before Thanksgiving, finding two documents with classified markings at a storage facility in Florida. The Trump team turned over those two documents to the FBI and announced to a federal judge in Washington, DC, that they believed Trump was now in compliance with a 6-month-old subpoena.

The DOJ, however, is now disputing this. CNN continues:

But the Justice Department disagreed. And in an escalation last week, department prosecutors told DC District Chief Judge Beryl Howell, who oversees federal grand jury proceedings there, that the searches weren’t satisfactory.

This is why the DOJ is reportedly pursuing a contempt of court charge – because Trump, in their view, did not comply with this subpoena.

What now?

There is one key piece of information that nobody – other than the DOJ – seems to know at the moment, namely, why exactly it is that the DOJ believes that Trump has not complied with the subpoena.

The contempt hearing is scheduled to be held on Friday. It is taking place under seal.

If Trump is found in contempt, then the court will likely issue a fine again Trump.

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, has released a statement on the matter, saying, “President Trump and his counsel continue to cooperate and be transparent, despite the unprecedented, illegal, and unwarranted attacks by the weaponized Department of Justice.”