Trump hires former Florida solicitor general in FBI search case

Former President Trump
Greg Nash
Former President Trump waves after giving a keynote address during the America First Policy Institute Summit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.

Former President Trump has hired former Florida solicitor general Chris Kise to help represent him in the fallout of the FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, a source confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday.

Kise served as solicitor general from 2003 to 2006 for then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, arguing cases in front of the Supreme Court on the state’s behalf. Crist, who has since switched to the Democratic Party, is running against Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in November.

NBC News first reported that Trump had hired Kise. The outlet reported that Kise began negotiations with Trump about taking the job shortly after the FBI searched the former president’s estate on Aug. 8.

The FBI search was related to Trump’s retention of classified documents that he took with him to Florida after leaving the White House more than a year ago. 

The August raid came after authorities recovered 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago in January that contained 184 classified documents, including 25 that were marked “top secret,” according to a heavily redacted affidavit that was used to justify the search earlier this month.

While Trump has spent the last several weeks attacking the FBI and the judge overseeing the case, his existing legal team has frequently been slow to react and did not make a filing in the case pushing for the full affidavit to be released without redactions. Kise also gives Trump an attorney who is closely familiar with the legal landscape in Florida.

The former president has insisted he has been cooperative with authorities over documents and that the search was unnecessary and politically driven, but the affidavit made clear federal officials spent months trying to get the sensitive materials back from Mar-a-Lago without success.

Trump has sought to obtain a so-called special master — a third party who would review the materials collected to screen for personal property or any privileged material that may have been swept up in the search. The appointment of a special master could draw out the investigation, which would likely benefit Trump as he mulls a potential 2024 presidential bid.

The Department of Justice informed the court on Monday, however, that it has already completed an initial review of potentially privileged materials seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Tags Charlie Crist Chris Kise classified documents Donald Trump FBI search of Mar-a-Lago Ron DeSantis

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