Trump lawyers ordered to release names of people hired to search Trump assets for classified documents | CNN Politics


A federal judge asked former President Donald Trump lawyers to turn over the names of people who were hired to search four houses for documents at the end of last year, a source familiar with the order told CNN.

The names were released on Wednesday night, two sources told CNN.

This is the latest twist in the Justice Department’s efforts to use the court to enforce a signature from May that sought to collect all the classified documents that Trump withheld after he left the presidency. The New York Times first reported the development.

Trump’s lawyers hired two people to search Trump Tower in New York, the Bedminster golf club, an office in Florida, and a storage unit in Florida. found two papers with classification marks, CNN first reported. Those documents were turned over to the FBI. No other documents containing classified information were found during the search of Trump’s properties.

It has been removed by the Ministry of Justice 11 sets of classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence while serving a warrant in August for possible violations of the Espionage Act and other crimes.

The four investigations overseen by Trump’s legal team, conducted amid Justice Department concerns, are not returning all documents to the federal government. .

During this time, Trump’s lawyer offered to let federal investigators monitor the search at his Bedminster home, but that offer was rejected. Because of the Justice Department’s response, Trump’s lawyers have not made a similar offer to search for other assets. It is very unusual for the Department of Justice to monitor searches that are not being conducted by law enforcement.

Special advice to Jack Smith, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November, is overseeing criminal investigations into the withholding of national security information at Mar-a-Lago and parts of the January 6, 2021, revolution. The situation related to the Mar-a-Lago records and the Trump team’s response to the May subpoena has become a key part of the investigation, which includes prosecutors’ accusations of obstruction of justice. .

Last month, federal judge Beryl Howell, the presiding judge of the DC District Court, refused to hold Trump in contempt of court and urge the Justice Department and the Trump administration to make a resolution as investigators try to ensure that all government records are returned to the federal government. The judge asked the attorney general how he could restrain the Trump group because of the steps taken by Trump’s lawyers to reduce the concerns of the Department of Justice that the records may still be in their possession. by Trump, according to sources.

The DOJ tried to arrest Trump and his office in frustration for not fully complying with a signed warrant following a search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in August.

After the DOJ subpoenaed Trump for documents containing classified information in his possession in May, prosecutors went to court to enforce the jury’s indictment. The judge ordered Trump’s team to comply. That’s what led to a search by Trump’s lawyers that found two additional documents with classified information.

Also on Thursday, the Department of Justice argued for the continuation of secrecy in any jury proceedings after the May 2022 subpoena and the August search, after being sought by the media much of what is happening in the court behind closed doors.

The judge, Howell, has not made a decision on whether new documents can be opened.

“The Government has not made public any request to impeach the former President or his representatives. The Government cannot confirm or deny whether such a request was made,” the DOJ argued in the filing. “Regarding any existing petition, he and any related proceedings will be bound by secret jury proceedings protected from disclosure.”

The DOJ, however, previously discussed the subpoena in May and publicly said officials do not believe Trump has fully complied.

This article has been updated with additional information.

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