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The Justice Department Friday filed a more detailed list of documents taken in its raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, including dozens of classified documents and folders with classified markings.
Also included was a wide assortment of other items, including over 1,000 documents that did not have classified markings, several “Article of Clothing/Gift Item” entries and hundreds of printed news articles.
The list was released per an order from Florida federal Judge Aileen M. Cannon, as she weighs whether to appoint a “special master” to check the documents for potential executive privilege.
The document includes little that was unexpected. A different federal judge unsealed a less detailed property receipt last month which showed that the FBI took several boxes of documents from Trump’s property, which included “Various classified/TS/SCI documents.” Trump. meanwhile, has complained publicly that the FBI took documents and items allegedly unrelated to its investigation.
But the Friday filing does underscore the massive amount of material the government took from Mar-a-Lago, including many documents that were apparently the property of the U.S. government.
The Presidential Records Act technically gives authority and control over that material to the National Archives, immediately upon the president leaving office. It’s unclear why these non-classified government records remained at the resort, and were not turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration as required by law, and why they were not voluntarily turned over by the Trump team in January, along with about 15 boxes of presidential records in an initial transfer.
It’s also not clear why investigators seized items labeled “Article of Clothing/Gift Item.” In all, the DOJ said it took 18 such items.
Trump’s legal team argues that Cannon should appoint the special master for an independent review of the materials the DOJ took from his property. They say the Justice Department should not be trusted to be the final word on whether its conduct is proper.
Justice Department lawyers, meanwhile, argue that appointing a special master is unnecessary and would slow their investigation into whether Trump illegally possessed national security documents in his home.
The government conducted the initial search of Trump’s home in response to what it believes to be a violation of federal laws: 18 USC 793 — Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information; 18 USC 2071 — Concealment, removal or mutilation; and 18 USC 1519 — Destruction, alteration or falsification of records in Federal investigations.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.