– Judge Raymond Daerie pressed lawyers for former President Donald Trump on Tuesday about whether the documents seized by the FBI in August from the politician’s home had been declassified, during an initial hearing in New York court.
Daerie, appointed as an independent expert to review more than 11,000 documents obtained by the FBI from the former president’s Florida home, spoke in court to the president’s legal team, which is refusing to present evidence confirming that Trump declassified the documents, according to national media.
The former president has argued that he himself declassified the documents he brought to Mar-A-Lago, suggesting there is no reason to prosecute him for having sensitive official material at his residence. However, neither he nor his lawyers have stood by that idea in court.
One of Trump’s attorneys, James Trusty, argued in court that Daerie’s request for evidence to support Trump’s claim that the documents were declassified was outside his purview.
“I’m doing what they asked me to do,” said the judge, who will have to decide which of those documents will not be turned over to the Justice Department, which is investigating the case against the former president.
The expert added that without evidence to support this claim, the only way to judge the classification level of the documents was the fact that they were all marked as highly sensitive national security secrets.
Dearie, appointed to review the material seized at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, must submit a mutually agreed “action plan” for his mission within no more than ten days, which must be completed on the 30th of November next.
Dearie must present this plan to federal judge Aileen Cannon in Florida, who is presiding over a lawsuit filed by Trump (2017-2021) against the US government over the August 8 FBI search of his mansion.
Cannon on Thursday appointed Dearie as an independent expert to review the seizure and also rejected a Justice Department request to allow him to review seized documents that were marked secret.
This fact has been questioned by legal experts who believe that this will temporarily delay the government’s criminal investigation.
The Justice Department had requested that only those documents marked classified be allowed to be viewed, and that Dearie’s review excluded them.
The idea to appoint an independent expert, approved by Cannon, came from Trump’s lawyers for the stated purpose of giving “confidence” to the investigation into the transfer of official documents to Mar-a-Lago, a hundred of which are “classified” in nature according to the Attorney General’s office.
Attorneys for the United States Department of Justice opposed the appointment of this person and, in fact, after the judge’s decision, they filed an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit of Appeals, in Atlanta, Georgia.
In addition to this process on the documents in his residence in Florida, Trump is facing several legal investigations related to his companies and his political activities, especially in the presidential election 2021. EFE.
In New York, the Republican politician is facing two investigations related to his family business, where he is accused of inflating the value of his companies to deceive the tax authorities. As part of this investigation, the Manhattan Attorney General obtained his 2021 tax returns.