Judge Rules Trump Must Release Documents In Mar-A-Lago Case

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Donald Trump has fought turning over the names of the individuals who conducted the search for his classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere. The ex-president hired a company to do that search near the end of 2022, and indeed, its employees did find more of the illegally retained documents. But the situation changed after a chief US district court judge forced 45 to reveal them to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a private hearing.

This move was instigated by the new Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was retained by the department to go after any illegal activities to undermine the 2020 presidential election, The Guardian reported. Trump’s attorneys claimed that the organization was experienced in such matters. The previous president could be charged with obstruction of justice for not releasing the company’s name and employees who were involved in the search. And delaying is a familiar tactic the last president has employed.

The DOJ told the former president’s attorneys that it suspected Trump still had additional documents and items in his possession last fall. This was after the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago and discovered multiple boxes of the secret documents. A source close to Trump claimed that the former resident of the White House used to take boxes of classified materials with him to peruse as he traveled about the country in the presidential plane.

Trump claimed that he used a company to make the additional searches of his various properties including Trump Tower, the ex-president’s New Jersey  Bedminster golf club, Mar-a-Lago, and a Florida storage unit. The unnamed company found two additional classified documents hidden in storage.

The DOJ asked Judge for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, to hold Trump’s office in contempt of the first subpoena it issued to Trump. The subpoena ordered the previous president to provide all of the records and presidential items. The ex-president claimed the documents were his, but he was wrong. All classified documents, other documents, gifts, and even notes written by a president go to the National Archives for preservation.

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The DOJ was looking at Trump’s valet Walt Muta and considering whether or not to tell the man that he could be charged in the investigation. Muta was interviewed earlier by the department.

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President Joe Biden started a think tank after he left the Obama administration, and apparently, the former vice president’s organization accidentally retained a couple of documents. The president immediately turned them over to the National Archives, The Vanity Fair reported. However, the two situations, Trump’s and Bidens, were handled completely differently. President Biden’s people followed the approved process for dealing with such documents.