Former President Donald Trump claims records kept at Mar-a-Lago, such as clemency requests, are his personal property and should not be returned to the federal government, the Justice Department said in a court filing late Thursday. .
The document resolved disputes over just 15 documents, but given that there are around 22,000 documents in total to be reviewed, it points to a potential legal hurdle. Trump said late on Thursday that the Justice Department’s log was inaccurate, and on Friday he filed a document pointing to seven documents he said had mischaracterized the nature of the differences between the two sides.
Special guru Raymond Dearie is reviewing Trump’s statement of executive privilege over the documents, which were confiscated from the former president’s Florida home in August.
The six documents described by the Justice Department are clemency requests Trump received during his presidency. Prosecutors said the two documents dealt with immigration and border control laws, presidential powers and initiatives.
One document was “a typed email from one of the military academies in their official capacity to the president about the academy’s athletic program and its relationship to the military ethos. The information pertains at least to “the president’s ceremonial duties.” , if not related to his commander-in-chief powers,” the document said.
Trump’s team classifies the records as personal records, while the federal government says they are presidential records — not something Trump wants to keep and cannot be protected by any of Trump’s claims of executive privilege. On Friday, Trump told Dirie that he was asserting executive privilege over three documents identified as clemency material.
Dearie previously said in calls with parties that he could not figure out how Trump claimed certain documents were both personal and protected by executive privilege. Four of the 15 records on Thursday fell into that category.
Trump’s lawyers responded that the Justice Department’s description of the 15 documents was “inaccurate” and that they planned to submit a full response on Monday. However, the deadline for Dearie to direct the Trump team to submit such applications is Friday.
Trump’s team and the Justice Department will continue to process most of the 22,000 records over the next month, while Dearie has until mid-December to make a decision.
This story has been updated with more developments.