Former President Trump’s office could be held in contempt of court over Mar-a-Lago documents probe: reports
President Donald Trump’s office could be held in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena issued in May requiring all classified documents in his possession be returned, according to reports.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that individuals associated with the matter spoke on anonymity while describing the court proceedings.
The individuals told the Washington Post that Justice Department lawyers requested U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell hold the former president’s office in contempt of court, though no action has been taken on the request.
The Washington Post reported that the DOJ’s continued frustration with Trump’s team came to a head in June when his lawyers gave their assurance that the Mar-a-Lago residence had been thoroughly searched.
In August, nearly two months later, FBI agents executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, resulting in classified documents in his possession.
Since leaving office, the government reportedly recovered over 300 classified documents from Trump.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press said at least two more items marked as classified were found in a storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida. The items were located by a firm that gained access to the storage unit through Trump’s attorneys. Those items have been handed over to the FBI.
Two of the people who spoke with the Post said one area of disagreement between the DOJ and Trump’s legal team revolves around the repeated refusal of Trump’s attorneys to appoint a custodian of records to state that all records have been returned to the government.
Trump faces crimes of destruction of government records, obstruction, and mishandling of classified documents.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed former DOJ official Jack Smith to the role of special counsel to investigate the entirety of the criminal probe into the retention of presidential records held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Smith is also set to oversee the DOJ’s investigation into the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021.
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