Donald Trump’s lawyers are being reprimanded by legal observers for opposing a judge’s directive that they explain the former president’s claim that he disclosed government documents seized by law enforcement officers.
Trump’s legal team argued in a lawsuit Monday that they should not be expected to release additional details about the alleged release of documents taken last month by FBI agents from Trump’s Florida home in Mar-a-law. Lago. The filing conforms to a framework established by Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master charged with searching 11,000 records retrieved from Trump. Legal commentators suggested the filing casts doubt on whether the documents have been released.
“In Judge Dearie’s proposed plan, he wants the Trump team to hang up or shut up about ‘declassification information,'” Katie Barlow, a host attorney In the courts at TBEN affiliate WTTG in Washington, DC, said in: a tweet. “Trump continues to say that he has released documents seized at Mar-a-Lago. This would oblige him to say so officially under penalty of perjury.”
Following the court-approved search of his home in August, Trump has claimed that he “declassified” all sensitive documents taken away by federal law enforcement, a claim that has been questioned by national security experts. Despite Trump’s stance on declassification, his lawyers have not supported them in court files.
Judge Aileen Cannon named Dearie special master last week after Trump’s attorneys successfully argued that an independent arbitrator was needed to set aside documents subject to attorney-client or executive privilege seized in the search.
Dearie, a senior judge for New York’s Eastern District who had been proposed for the position by Trump’s team, asked both sides to discuss any issues ahead of an initial meeting scheduled for Tuesday at the Brooklyn Federal Court Building. .
In their filing, Trump’s attorneys said that Dearie’s original plan to review the documents by Nov. 30, required them to “disclose specific disclosure information to the court and government.” Trump’s attorneys argued that disclosure should instead come in a motion to regain ownership.
“Otherwise, the Special Master process would have compelled the plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a substantive defense of a subsequent charge without such requirement becoming apparent in the court order,” Trump’s attorneys said in the filing. .
Ryan Goodman, a former law professor and Pentagon special counsel, said in a tweet that the filing “didn’t look good on Trump’s side.”
“Trump’s team is resisting,” he said. “It smells like they want to avoid lying in court. Don’t want to make claims. Fear of 18 USC 1001?’
Goodman’s tweet, which references a federal statute, makes it illegal to make false statements to the government, which is punishable by fines and up to five years in prison.
News week has reached out to James Trusty, a member of Trump’s legal team, for comment.