National Security

DOJ asks judge to hold Trump team in contempt as frustrations mount on records case: report 

The Justice Department has asked a judge to hold former President Trump’s legal team in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena demanding the return of all classified records stored at Mar-a-Lago, according to reporting from The Washington Post

The appeal to a federal judge in sealed court documents comes after the Trump team has still failed to designate a custodian of records and is the latest sign of tension between the Justice Department and the Trump team just days after another two classified documents were found at a South Florida storage unit housing other Trump records.

A U.S. District Court judge has yet to take action on the request, according to The Post. 

The contempt request follows months of efforts to recover classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

After a May subpoena, the Trump team turned over 38 documents with classified markings, but resisted a request for a sworn statement certifying all classified material had been returned.

Instead, Trump attorney Christina Bobb offered a statement saying the former president’s team had returned all records “based upon the information that has been provided to me.”

After determining that more classified records may be found on the property, the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, finding another 103 documents with classified markings.

On Wednesday, a separate Washington Post report said at least two additional documents with classified markings had been found at a storage unit in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The sealed filing before U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell comes after the judge ordered the Trump team to conduct a search for records at other Trump properties. 

Holding the legal team in contempt of court could prompt a fine until Trump designates a custodian of records, a person who would be responsible for ascertaining to the Justice Department that no classified records remain on Trump property — something his lawyers have been hesitant to do.

Trump’s legal team has resisted the request from the Justice Department, arguing that they can only reasonably offer that a search of the properties has been conducted in good faith.

Updated at 6:02 p.m.

Tags Christina Bobb Department of Justice Donald Trump Mar-a-Lago Presidential Records Act Washington Post

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