- Two weeks ago, the FBI conducted a surprise search of the home of former US President Donald Trump.
- It is assumed that highly classified documents were found.
- Trump now wants to stop the investigation with a lawsuit and appoint an independent special counsel.
He should see documents secured during the mission two weeks ago in Mar-a-Lago, Florida — meanwhile the examination of state investigators should stop by then, according to a complaint filed by Trump’s lawyers in Florida on Monday.
In sensitive cases, US law can designate a so-called special master to review seized materials and ensure that investigators cannot see confidential information.
Was Trump only exercising his presidential privileges?
Trump’s defense attorneys argue in the lawsuit that the confiscated documents may be protected under the executive privilege of the President of the United States: “Just ‘reasonable’ precautionary measures are inadmissible when it comes to not only President Trump’s constitutional rights, but also the protections of President Trump,” the document says.
Executive privilege is the prerogative of the president to keep certain information confidential. During a search of Trump’s property, the FBI found and confiscated a set of documents classified as top secret, among other things.
What was the FBI looking for?
According to media reports, the operation relates to Trump’s handling of files and documents since his time in the White House. There is no official confirmation of this.
Trump is said to have brought 15 boxes filled with government documents, memorabilia, gifts and letters from the White House to his Florida home.
Among them are said to be documents believed to contain classified information on national security. According to the media, these messages included messages from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a message from Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. In the United States, by law, all presidential correspondence must be archived.
Trump said he released the documents at the time. Current presidents have far-reaching powers of declassification. But for the release of documents, there is a formal procedure that includes several very formal steps.
According to the filing, Trump is also paying for detailed evidence of the US Department of Justice’s ownership of items seized by the FBI on August 8 in a search of his Mar-a-Lago home. Investigators were asked to return any items not within the scope of the search warrant.
The Justice Department has until noon Thursday to provide Trump with a stamped and sealed copy of the search warrant, which he will likely release to the public.
The research sparked an uproar in the United States and accusations from Trump supporters in the Justice Department of attacking Trump for political reasons.
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