It has been readily apparent to most observers that President Joe Biden’s Justice Department fully intends to criminally indict former President Donald Trump in relation to the government documents seized during the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago in August.
Trump’s own attorneys appeared to acknowledge the likelihood of impending criminal charges against their client in a court filing submitted Monday to the special master overseeing the case, the Daily Wire reported.
That admission came in the form of an objection to the special master’s request that Trump’s team provide information about any seized documents with classified markings that may have previously been declassified, which would compel them to also disclose any potential avenues of defense they might use against future charges.
Special master’s order would prematurely expose potential defense arguments
Politico reported that the court-appointed special master, senior federal Judge Raymond Dearie of Brooklyn, asked the former president’s team of attorneys to provide details about any seized documents under review Trump has claimed as personal property that may have previously been declassified.
Trump’s team objected to that request, however, in light of the fact that it appeared to exceed the scope of the review as laid out by federal Judge Aileen Cannon when she appointed Dearie as well as that it would force them to prematurely reveal their defense strategy against potential future criminal charges.
As one of two main objections raised in Monday’s court filing, Trump’s attorneys wrote, “(T)he Draft Plan requires that the Plaintiff disclose specific information regarding declassification to the Court and to the Government.”
The lawyers argued that the appropriate “time and place” for such “affidavits and declarations” would be in relation to a “Rule 41 motion that specifically alleges declassification as a component of its argument for return of property.”
“Otherwise, the Special Master process will have forced the Plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order,” the filing added.
Magistrate who issued warrant shouldn’t be involved in seized property dispute
According to the filing, the Rule 41 motion mentioned by Trump’s attorney, which involves the effort to have the former president’s seized personal property returned to him, will be dealt with via filings and hearings in November.
The eventual Rule 41 hearing was also the basis of the other major objection raised by Trump’s team in regard to Judge Dearie’s “draft management plan,” Politico noted, in that Dearie had assigned that hearing to be held in the courtroom of the magistrate judge who signed off on the initial warrant for the FBI’s Aug. 8 raid of Mar-a-Lago, which also seemingly exceeded the scope of the special master review as laid out by Judge Cannon.
“The Plaintiff respectfully sees no indication the District Court planned to carve out related litigation for a merits determination by the issuing magistrate for the warrant in question,” the attorneys wrote. “Most importantly, none of the District Court’s Orders have ever indicated that this was even a consideration.”
It seems virtually guaranteed that Biden’s DOJ will eventually file criminal charges against his chief political rival, Trump, and given that likelihood, Trump’s attorneys would prefer to play their cards close to the chest for now and not prematurely reveal possible defense arguments prior to an actual indictment being filed.