Updated Sep 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump opposes immediately sharing declassification details in Mar-a-Lago case

Former President Trump speaks at a rally to support Republican candidates running for state and federal offices in the state at the Covelli Centre on September 17, 2022 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Former President Trump at a rally in the state in Youngstown, Ohio, on Saturday. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Former President Trump's legal team on Monday night opposed a request by the special master reviewing the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago to make disclosures about the declassification of documents found at his Florida residence.

Driving the news: Attorneys for Trump in a letter to Judge Raymond Dearie cited a draft plan that they said "requires that the Plaintiff disclose specific information regarding declassification to the Court and to the Government."

  • The "time and place" for such declarations "would be in connection with a Rule 41 motion that specifically alleges declassification as a component of its argument for return of property," wrote the lawyers, in reference to a motion that's filed by those seeking the return of property seized in an unlawful search.
  • "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 lawyers said.

Why it matters: The statement mentioning a possible indictment is notable as it indicates that Trump acknowledges that the investigation could potentially lead to him or his aides facing criminal charges, the Washington Post notes.

The big picture: Judge Aileen Cannon last week ordered the special master review and rejected the Justice Department's request to exclude classified documents from Dearie's examination, which is due to be completed at the end of November.

What they're saying: The Department of Justice in a separate filing Monday suggested a third-party vendor could upload roughly 500 documents each business day for review by both parties in the case, per CNN.

  • Dearie could then hold "weekly reviews" with the parties to "resolve questions and ensure smooth operation of the review process," the DOJ said.

What's next: Dearie, a former chief federal judge in New York, is due to hold a preliminary conference at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn with the parties on Tuesday.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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