March 2, 2024
An attorney for former President Donald Trump scolded the Justice Department for fighting the appointment of a special master to review documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

An attorney for former President Donald Trump scolded the Justice Department for fighting the appointment of a special master to review documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

James Trusty, a former federal prosecutor, told Fox News host Mark Levin it is a “fair question” to ask whether the Justice Department is attempting a cover-up as it conducts a criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of records after leaving office.

“What we have in this situation is a historical first. And I mean that in a very negative way, to have this search warrant based on failed [National Archives] negotiations, I suppose, that allowed the government to basically ransack the president’s residence,” he said in a clip from this week’s Life, Liberty and Levin. “You’d think in this era of the attorney general constantly talking about rule of law and transparency, that we would be the first one to say, ‘Sure another set of eyes is perfectly fine.'”

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted Trump’s request for a special master despite the Justice Department’s opposition, and the two sides have since turned in proposals for how to move forward, including nominees, access, and speed of the third-party review. The Justice Department, which was ordered to stop the use of seized materials for its criminal investigation while the special master review takes place, has said it will appeal the order granting an independent review and asked the judge in Florida to issue an emergency order to allow investigators to continue using classified material due to national security concerns while the appeal plays out.

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As Trump claims he did nothing wrong and is being unfairly targeted, Trusty said an “overarching theme” is the Justice Department taking on a view that it should not be second-guessed and asked what the agency could be afraid of.

“It would have been so much more respectful of the department and of this attorney general if they turned around and said, ‘You know what, good idea to have a special master, we have nothing to hide. Let’s get at it.’ But that’s not the approach. It’s a constant fight.”

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