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Trump Lawyers Mismanage Mar-a-Lago Case, His Greatest Legal Threat

On Tuesday, a Florida judge informed lawyers representing former President Trump, neither of them licensed in the state, that they had mismanaged routine paperwork in a suit filed after the FBI's search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, reports the New York Times. Trump has raised millions of dollars from supporters, since federal agents descended on the property and repossessed material including highly classified documents. The documents investigation is the greatest legal threat Trump has faced in years. Seeking tactical and political victories, Trump collaborated with a conservative writer to write a letter meant to turn attention to President Biden. However, the letter confirmed information damaging to the former president’s case, saying Trump had kept 700 pages of documents with classification markings, including some at the most restricted level.

The judge handling Trump's request for the appointment of a special master to review the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago was returned with questions. Judge Aileen Cannon, appointed by Trump, asked lawyers to respond by Friday whether she had jurisdiction to hear Trump’s request, and what his motion was asking her to do. For years Trump has operated with strategies incluiding demonizing investigators, intimidating allies to keep them from leaving, and portraying himself as persecuted. Depicting criticism as a political witch hunt was Trump’s go-to strategy to discredit the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s possible ties to Russia, and in his first impeachment trial. The documents investigation is also about whether Mr. Trump or his associates may have obstructed the inquiry. Trump is using his expired presidency, claiming executive privilege still applies to him even though he’s out of office and maintaining he had a standing order to declassify some documents. Trump’s court filing on Monday was filled with complaints that the government had treated him unfairly. The document cited examples like “two years of noisy ‘Russian collusion’ investigations.”


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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