Embattled former president filed a lawsuit earlier Monday requesting a federal watchdog be appointed to further oversee the investigation into his hoarding of state secrets
The federal government has recovered over 300 classified documents from the Florida estate of former President Donald Trump since he left office, with at least half of the documents recovered during the National Archives’ initial search of Trump’s Palm Beach compound in January of this year.
According to The New York Times, the discovery of the initial batch of classified materials by the agency tasked with documenting and preserving historical records prompted Trump officials to relinquish an additional unknown number of materials to the government in June, and precipitated the federal raid on Mar-a-Largo earlier this month, during which additional documents were seized by the FBI. At least one box of retrieved materials were designated with the federal government’s highest level of classification.
In February, the National Archives confirmed its January search uncovered a 15 boxes containing material allegedly removed from the White House in violation of the Presidential Records Act — among which included Trump’s self-described “love letters” to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. A source close to the matter told the Times that this initial batch of documents also contained documents from the CIA, FBI and the National Security Agency “spanning a variety of topics of national security interest.”
News of the extent of Trump’s stash of state secrets comes just hours after the former president filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Department of Justice from “further review of seized materials” claiming that “[p]rotecting the integrity of these documents is important not only to [Trump] but also to the institution of the Presidency.” In the filing, Trump also requests that a federal watchdog — a so-called “special master” — be appointed to further oversee the Mar-a-Lago investigation.
“The Government has refused to provide President Trump with any reason for the unprecedented, general search of his home. To date, the Government has failed to legitimize its historic decision to raid the home of a President who had been fully cooperative,” the lawsuit states. “The documents seized at Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022, were seized from President Trump and were created during his term ms President. Accordingly, the documents are ‘presumptively privileged’ until proven otherwise… Only an evaluation by a neutral reviewer, a Special Master, can secure the sanctity of these privileged materials.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.