Trump’s lawyers complained the government’s response from earlier “gratuitously included a photograph of allegedly classified information, ripped from a container and strewn across the floor for maximum impact.”
The DOJ and FBI Aim to Mislead
The DOJ filed on Tuesday in opposition to Trump’s motion for a special master to evaluate the materials the FBI collected from Mar-a-Lago in early August, prompting the administration’s reaction on Wednesday.
In a response to a move for a special master, the government has “now twisted the framework into an all-encompassing opposition to any judicial assessment, currently or in the future, of any aspect of its extraordinary actions in this investigation,” according to Trump’s legal team.
Government officials discovered “evidence indicating government materials were likely hidden and removed from the Storage Room. Measures were likely taken to hinder the government’s inquiry,” counterintelligence head Jay Bratt stated in the DOJ complaint.
— Robin the Bird (@RobinKaye16) September 1, 2022
DOJ and FBI Work to Criminalize Former President
Some have speculated this is how Trump stored the records after seeing images of them strewn about the floor in the DOJ’s answer to Trump’s plea for a special master.
Hours before his legal counsel decided to submit its most recent filing, Trump wrote on Truth Social that documents were strung across the floor haphazardly for the FBI to make a point.
The federal government’s argument for conducting a criminal investigation into the former president was also disputed by Trump’s legal team.
Attorneys for Trump said the following:
“The claimed revelation of private information in the 15 boxes of presidential papers served as the pretext for starting this criminal investigation.”
“However, given the very essence of presidential records, this “finding” should have been fully expected. Simply said, there was never any reason to be concerned that presidential records would contain confidential material.”
🧵#Trump wasn’t keeping the documents on his floor. The #FBI agent scattered the papers on the floor for the picture, to make a record they were there, so it would be harder for Trump to later claim the documents were planted, as both the tagging card (“2A”) & the rulers suggest. pic.twitter.com/Jml0waboCs
— 🇺🇸 Jewels 🇺🇸 (@jewels4meee) September 1, 2022
Trump’s legal team criticized the DOJ’s Privilege Review Team for failing to get in touch with them and claimed the evaluation was “wholly deficient.”
This comes despite the DOJ’s argument that a special master is no longer required because its “filter team” already performed a preliminary review of the captured documents.
Trump’s legal team said even after Judge Aileen M. Cannon declared her “preliminary desire to designate a special master,” the federal government “expeditiously ‘facilitated” its preliminary assessment of the papers Trump wanted an independent investigation of.
Lawyers for Trump wrote:
“Secondly, the government now has the audacity to claim any Special Master engagement will “interfere” with the documents’ current evaluation by the Intelligence Community.”
“Never has a claim against “interference” better underscored the necessity of judicial participation. All of this is taking place in the framework of a unilateral filter team activity that has never spoken to Movant’s legal counsel, marking another historical first for the DOJ.”