FBI agents seized nearly 200,000 pages of documents from the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump, his lawyers revealed in a new court filing.
It was previously known that FBI agents took about 11,000 documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach during an Aug. 8 raid in connection with a criminal investigation of his removal of government documents from the White House when he left office in early 2021. More than 100 of the documents were classified or highly classified.
Wednesday night’s filing in Brooklyn federal court by Trump’s lawyers was the first time that the huge number of pages that comprise those documents was disclosed.
The filing says the Department of Justice is being “overly optimistic and aggressive” about meeting deadlines for the scanning of the seized documents by an outside data vendor and their subsequent review by a so-called special master in the case.
That special master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, was appointed by another federal judge to review the seized files to determine which of them, if any, are protected by the attorney-client privilege or executive privilege and exempt from use in the criminal probe.
Trump’s lawyers say that mid-October is a “realistic final production deadline,” as opposed to the DOJ’s position that a vendor could complete the scanning process by Oct. 7.
A federal appeals court last week allowed the DOJ to resume using the classified documents that were seized from Mar-a-Lago in its probe.
The DOJ’s investigation hinges on the fact that, by law, government records in the possession of a president must be given to the National Archives and Records Administration when they leave office.
The DOJ maintains that Trump does not have the right to invoke executive privilege over any of the government documents that were in his possession as he is no longer president.