Trump Lawyers In Secret Court Hearing With Justice Dept. Officials
Attorneys for former President Donald Trump were seen in Washington, D.C., on Thursday for a hearing as a part of the Justice Department’s investigation into whether or not Trump mishandled classified White House documents.
The hearing, under U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell, lasted two-hours, but exactly what was discussed has not been made public. Howell’s cases are usually ones that are kept secret. The meeting marked the first time Trump’s legal team met with government officials in court, but they declined to share why they were there with reporters as they arrived.
The Justice Department opened an investigation into Trump at the request of the National Archives who at the beginning of the year located 15 boxes of missing documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Presidents are required to turn over notes, memos and other documents to the National Archives at the end of their term.
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In August, the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago where they found between 100 and 200 documents that had been “classified” or “top secret” markings.
The probe is examining whether or not Trump took part in destruction, mishandling and obstruction of documents.
Since then, Trump has claimed that he declassified the documents before taking them to Mar-a-Lago and that the investigation is just a Democratic-led “witch hunt” against him.
His legal team requested and was granted a special master, or a third-party, to review the documents to determine if the Justice Department can use them in their investigation or if they fall under executive or attorney-client privilege.
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