The FBI prepared asset logs sorting through pages from Donald Trump’s resort home Mara-a-Lago. Then they sent the listing of the retrieved 200,000 pages under seal to the U.S. District Court of Southern Florida. Of all those pages, only 383 were marked for return to the former president, but what a mixture it was.
In those few pages, the FBI found business and personal records, including legal bills and PGA documents. Among the greater majority of pages, the investigators found an analysis of those seeking pardons to calls marked with the Presidential Seal.
The Washington Post reported on the breakdown of those FBI pages:
‘the Government mentioned that the 11,000 documents contain closer to 200,000 pages.’
The judge had ordered the logs placed under seal. However, someone accidentally posted them to the public court docket. The error was discovered and quickly remedied, according to The Bloomberg News.
The FBI’s Privilege Review Team separated the documents into three groups. The first grouping of 137 pages was filed under “government records, public documents, or communications from outside parties. There was one 39-page document consisting of Trump’s handwritten notes with the Presidential Seal and filed as “The President’s Calls.”
This is an example of what those emails included:
‘An email between the White House and National Security Council regarding the 2019 release of John Walker Lindh, an American convicted of supporting the Taliban.’
One of the items listed under “The President’s Calls” had a “message from Rudy.” That individual may have been his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Another listed as “NARA letters,” which referred to its final destination, the National Archives and Records Administration. It included “an unsigned June 2017 letter from one of Trump’s law firms to former special counsel Robert Mueller,” and:
‘[E]mails to a White House account regarding post-election legal action.’
A number of the pardons and commutations were only “identified by initials. Some referred to individuals”, such as Rod Blagojevich former governor of Illinois.
The log read:
- ‘Draft 2019 immigration initiative,
- For POTUS Review, and
- Executive Action to Curb Illegal Immigration.
- Internal Analysis and
- Packages of materials related to requests for presidential pardons and sentence commutations.’
The second group included the 383 pages the FBI’s filter. team selected to return to Trump. It included a medical letter was written to a doctor and many legal documents:
- ‘IRS forms,
- Other tax-related documents,
- Invoices for legal work and lawyer-retainer contracts,
- A settlement between a Trump golf entity and the PGA Tour,
- An agreement involving his post-presidency media group,
- Communication about Trump’s resignation from the Screen Actors Guild, and
- A nondisclosure agreement and contract related to Trump’s Save America political action committee.’
During the late August warranted search, the FBI retrieved and flagged documents that could possibly be covered under the attorney-client privilege and “warranted a closer look.” Those made up the third group of documents consisting of 520 pages. Upon review, the Department of Justice (DOJ) found few fell into that category.
Trump took the DOJ to court to appoint a judge as Special Master to filter the many pages between those that legitimately belonged to the former president and those belonging to the U.S. government. The Special Master ruled that there were 100 classified documents that could be returned to the FBI, so that it could continue its investigation and protect its human assets and methods.
The original Trump-appointed judge overruled the Special Master and halted the investigation. The DOJ turned to the three-panel 11th Circuit Court which sided with the Special Master. At that point, the ex-president went to U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justice Clarence Thomas.
Will the Supreme Court do its job, or will they give Trump a freebie?
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
Christie writes Gloria Christie Reports & Three White Lions Substack newsletters and a Three White Lions podcast available on Apple, Spotify, etc. She is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress). Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions her book on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, etc.