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Donald Trump seeks to retain two files seized at Mar-a-Lago

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Donald Trump is seeking to withhold from the Justice Department two files marked as containing National Archives correspondence and signature sheets that the FBI seized from his Mar-a-Lago compound, according to court filings in special main examination of confiscated documents.

The former US president’s claims of privilege over the records, which appear to be directly related to the criminal investigation into whether he withheld national defense information and obstructed justice, are significant because they represent a effort to exclude material from the investigation and keep it confidential.

Specifically, Trump asserted privilege over the contents of a red folder marked as containing “NARA letters and other copies” and a second manila folder marked as containing “NARA letters a top sheet + 3 signature sheets” , a review of court documents indicated.

The former president also claimed privilege on 35 pages of documents titled “The President’s Calls” which included the presidential seal in the upper left corner and contained handwritten names, numbers, notes on messages and four blank pages of various notes, according to the documents filed.

Trump also did the same for an unsigned letter from 2017 regarding former special counsel Robert Mueller, pages of an email regarding voter fraud lawsuits in Fulton County, Georgia, and deliberations on the clemency from a certain “MB”, Ted Suhl and former Illinois Governor Rod. Blagojevich.

Related: Trump’s attorney declined to report that all of Mar-a-Lago’s records had been returned

A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The documents the former president is trying to hide from the criminal investigation by claiming some sort of privilege — it was unclear whether he was asserting executive or attorney-client privilege on both records, for example – became clear after a decision by the special committee on Friday. Master.

In the three-page order, U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Dearie — appointed special master with a mandate to screen seized documents for possible privilege issues — released the unique identification numbers of documents for which Trump does not claim privilege.

Normally, the exact nature of documents claimed as protected would remain private. But an apparent recording error by the court earlier in the week exposed the seized documents that the Justice Department’s “screening team” identified as potentially privileged.

Related: US Department of Justice says Trump failed to turn over all documents – report

By comparing the unique identification numbers for which Trump did not claim privilege with the inadvertently unsealed list of potentially privileged documents, the Guardian was able to identify the documents the former president sought to conceal from the department.

The special master ordered the “screening team” to transfer documents not considered privileged by Trump to the “case team” conducting the criminal investigation by Oct. 10, according to the ruling.

Once the documents are transferred, the special master wrote, Trump’s attorneys and the department should confer and attempt to resolve any disputes over executive privilege over the remaining records by Oct. 20 — then refer any questions to him. in abeyance for him to decide.

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