Trump Starts Panicing Over Seized Docs During Weekend Meltdown

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In a rant on Truth Social, Trump — who is also claiming that the records in his possession after he left the presidency were rightfully his to keep — once again raised the prospect of the supposed possibility of authorities meddling with the seized materials, including by planting something.

The notions that Trump declassified everything he had and that authorities have planted materials are obviously at least somewhat in contradiction. “The FBI and the Department of “Justice,” which paid a man $200,000 to spy on me, and offered a $1 million “bounty” to try and prove a totally made up and fake “dossier” about me (they went down in flames!), are now leaking nonstop on the Document Hoax to the Fake News,” Trump bellowed. “Who could ever trust corrupt, weaponized agencies, and that includes NARA, who disrespects our Constitution and Bill of Rights, to keep and safeguard any records, especially since they’ve lost millions and millions of pages of information from previous Presidents. Also, who knows what NARA and the FBI plant into documents, or subtract from documents—we will never know, will we?”

There is no legitimate indication of leaks from law enforcement personnel about the documents scandal to which Trump referred. Publicly, there’s no solid info about who is leaking what. The scandal exploded into public view in early August when FBI agents raided the former president’s southern Florida property, Mar-a-Lago. As it turns out, Trump retained hundreds of documents marked classified that authorities sought to reclaim, some of which remained in the former president’s possession even after a grand jury subpoena demanding their return and a signed statement from a Trump lawyer insisting the ex-president’s team was returning everything covered by the subpoena. Now, the Justice Department is hoping to completely shut down a review of some of the seized documents led by a court-appointed third party known as a special master, who is presiding over a review of just the non-classified items seized in the raid.

During a recent status hearing, the special master — federal Judge Raymond Dearie — raised issues with the Trump team’s presentation of privilege claims, which he characterized in part as lacking supporting info. He also raised the issue of Trump claiming personal and executive privileges over the same document, something that seemed contradictory. Dearie hasn’t yet received the final batch of unarbitrated privilege disputes for him to review, but he has access to relevant info as the case moves forward, with tens of thousands of documents at issue. The Justice Department has contended the unclassified materials are important for establishing context clues about the handling of what was marked classified. Trump’s contention the National Archives has “lost millions” of records seemingly doesn’t fully reflect the facts.