Last week, the Justice Department released a 36-page filing that included photographs of some of the alleged classified documents recovered during the raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
In the new filing responding to Trump’s motion to appoint a Special Master, the DOJ accused Trump of failing to return classified White House documents, despite being subpoenaed and promising to do a “diligent search” to find the documents.
Justice Department counterintelligence chief Jay Bratt wrote in the filing that the DOJ had evidence that the records were “likely concealed and removed” from the secured storage room to “obstruct the government’s investigation.”
Included in the filing were photos showing some of the documents the FBI obtained during the raid, including some redacted documents and others with “TOP SECRET//SCI” marked at the top.
The DOJ alleged that some of the documents seized were so sensitive that those reviewing them “required additional clearances” before they could do so.
In the DOJ filing, Bratt argued that the documents seized do not belong to former President Trump, but the United States.
Last Thursday, Federal Judge Aileen Cannon heard arguments on Trump’s Special Master Request and is expected to make her decision soon.
In the hearing, Jay Bratt told Judge Cannon that Trump is not entitled to a Special Master since he is no longer the President and did not have the right to remove the government documents and take them to Mar-a-Lago.
DOJ officials told Cannon that a filter team had done a thorough review and set aside 64 sets of documents, amounting to about 520 pages, that were protected under attorney-client privilege.
Trump’s lawyers, meanwhile, argued that a Special Master was necessary to review the documents for possible claims of executive privilege.
On Friday, Biden’s Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, announced that the intelligence agencies would conduct a review of the classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago to determine if there is any potential national security risk.