Lawyers for former U.S. President Donald Trump have asked a federal court to temporarily block the FBI from reviewing documents recovered from his Florida estate until a special master can be appointed to separate material covered by executive privilege.
Federal investigators are probing whether Trump illegally kept records after the end of his presidential term.
The FBI seized 11 sets of classified material from Trump’s estate earlier this month, including some labeled with the nation’s highest level of classification that can only be viewed in designated government facilities. The National Archives also removed boxes from the estate earlier this year that should have been turned over to the agency when Trump left office.
Trump has criticized the proceedings, and his legal filing called the Aug. 8 2022, FBI search a “shockingly aggressive move.”
The U.S. Justice Department responded that a federal judge authorized the search after the FBI showed probable cause that a crime had been committed.
The New York Times reported Monday that the government has recovered more than 300 classified documents from Trump’s estate, including material from the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI.
Following the August search, Trump’s lawyers asked a federal magistrate to make public the FBI affidavit detailing the probable cause for conducting the search.
The Justice Department opposed the move, saying it would jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation, and the magistrate said Monday that while that concern is legitimate, he does not believe the document should remain sealed in its entirety.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.