The legal team for Former President Donald Trump has officially acknowledged via a series of court filings this past Monday that the former president could end up being hit with criminal charges stemming from the investigation carried out concerning the confidential records of the U.S. government that he failed to return and had stored in his Florida home at Mar-A-Lago.
Judge Aileen Cannon, with the U.S. District Court, issued approval to Trump for a special master in the case, and he was then even given the person he asked for, Judge Raymond J. Dearie. Dearie must now carry out a total review of the documents that the FBI confiscated as part of their raid on Trump’s Floridian mansion.
Dearie is now seeking to have Trump officially disclose all information about any of the known materials that he claims that he declassified before he attempt to lay claim to it as personal property, as reported by Politico. The legal team for Trump is now asking Dearie to remove that last section of the request.
“Similarly, the Draft Plan requires that the Plaintiff disclose specific information regarding declassification to the Court and to the Government,” explained the attorney’ for Trump. “We respectfully submit that the time and place for affidavits or declarations would be in connection with a Rule 41 motion that specifically alleges declassification as a component of its argument for return of property.”
“Otherwise, the Special Master process will have forced the Plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order,” they tacked on.
JUST IN: Special Master Dearie has asked Trump's team for declarations about any acftions he's taken to declassify material. Trump's team says i n a filing tonight that it is resisting that request — because it could be a defense to any criminal cahrges. https://t.co/Wrl47hrygS pic.twitter.com/fCeF7PnJKv
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) September 19, 2022
The criminal investigation comes in the wake of Trump being repeatedly warned by his legal team starting back in late 2021 that he would need to hand back over the records to the U.S. government which were being requested by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Prior to the end of Trump’s term, the deputy counsel for the president, Patrick Philbin, was elevated to be Trump’s representative to deal with matters concerning the National Archives alongside White House counsel Pat Cipollone, as reported by The New York Times.
As soon as the National Archives discovered that a selection of the White House records from Trump had not been returned, they reportedly reached out to Philbin for assistance in getting the documents back.
Philbin reportedly attempted to assist the National Archives in the collection of the materials, but he was reportedly halted by Trump himself.
“It’s not theirs, it’s mine,” reportedly stated Trump to a group of his advisers.
It was reported by the Times on Monday that Eric Herschmann, a former Trump White House lawyer, issued a warning to Trump late last year that he could be looking at serious legal consequences if he failed to hand over the required documents to the archives.