DOJ Pushes Court To Hold Trump Team In Contempt In Classified Docs Case: Report

 The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly asking a federal judge to hold former President Donald Trump’s team in contempt for failing to turn over classified documents to authorities.

The DOJ reportedly made the request to U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell, unnamed sources told The Washington Post. The reported filing remains under seal, so the precise wording and details of the request are unclear.

DOJ lawyers reportedly want the Trump team to appoint a custodian of records who can verify and swear to their claim that the former president has no classified documents in his possession. Trump’s team has said that the request is excessive and that no attorney should make such an unqualified claim.

The FBI raided Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in August to retrieve suspected classified documents that the former president took with him after exiting the White House. The raid stemmed from a document dispute Trump had with the National Archives, during which the government came to suspect that Trump held classified materials at his residence in addition to unclassified government documents.

Since the raid and amid the ongoing legal battle between the Trump team and the Justice Department, Trump approved a search of several of his properties done by a private firm. That search turned up at least two materials with classified markings found in a storage unit in West Palm Beach, Florida. No such documents were found in searches of Trump Tower in New York and Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung told the Post that Trump’s attorneys “continue to be cooperative and transparent.” He echoed Trump’s attacks against the investigation, saying, “This is a political witch hunt unlike anything like this country has ever seen.”

Questions arose in October whether Trump attorney Christina Bobb could be in legal jeopardy over a statement she reportedly signed in June claiming that all classified material at Mar-a-Lago had been handed over to the federal government. At the time, Bobb was Trump’s designated custodian of record.

That statement was signed roughly two months before the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago and the federal government’s seizure of thousands of classified and unclassified documents along with other items. Bobb was protected from legal liability over the statement because of a key caveat that she reportedly insisted on including in the statement before signing it.

Bobb signed the statement certifying that no more classified documents were located at Mar-a-Lago “based upon the information that has been provided to me,” a source told NBC News.

“She had to insist on that disclaimer twice before she signed it,” one source said.

“She is not criminally liable,” the source added. “She is not going to be charged. She is not pointing fingers. She is simply a witness for the truth.”

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