Ian Patrick, FISM News
A federal judge in Florida has given former President Donald Trump a deadline to answer a few questions regarding his lawsuit against the Department of Justice following the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate.
In an order issued on Tuesday, Trump-appointee U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon asked that Trump specify a few points in his 27-page motion. According to corroborating reports, items marked for clarification include the “precise relief” sought by the former President, why the court has jurisdiction over this specific dispute, and if Trump is seeking an immediate injunction against the government.
Cannon’s questions appear to be in line with criticisms from legal experts who, according to Politico, argue that Trump’s motion is “convoluted, confusing and loaded with heaping servings of political rhetoric unrelated to the legal questions at issue.”
According to a previous FISM News report, the lawsuit from Trump alleges that the FBI agents “seized documents, privileged and/or potentially privileged materials, and other items – including photos, handwritten notes, and even President Trump’s passports – that were outside the lawful reach of an already overbroad warrant.”
It essentially argues that the DOJ violated Trump’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. Trump asked in the complaint he filed if the court would provide a more detailed inventory of the items seized from his home and that items deemed outside the purview of the search warrant would be returned.
Cannon gave Trump and his team until Friday to answer the questions laid out in her order.
In addition to the order, recent developments from the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) have also brought the Mar-a-Lago raid into focus.
Late on Monday, conservative journalist John Solomon released a letter dated May 10 from NARA to Trump attorney Evan Corcoran. The letter details how NARA got a hold of 15 boxes from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate back in January of 2022 after communication with his team throughout 2021.
Included in these 15 boxes were “over 100 documents with classification markings, comprising more than 700 pages,” according to the letter written by Acting U.S. Archivist Debra Steidel Wall. NARA notified Corcoran at the time that it would make these documents available to the FBI.
Trump previously stated that any documents at Mar-a-Lago were declassified by him, therefore he was not technically in possession of classified material. The President is the only government official that can willfully declassify information. One legal expert is skeptical that this would work in the former President’s favor, however.
Jonathan Shaub, a former Justice Department attorney who teaches at the University of Kentucky’s law school, commented on Trump’s claim of executive privilege regarding the Mar-a-Lago documents.
“The idea that executive privilege in some way would restrict (National Archives) access to the records, or the FBI’s access to the records, sort of just misconstrues what executive privilege is,” Shaub told Reuters.
He further asserts that the only individual that can apply executive privilege is the President, saying that the “special master” Trump is requesting in his motion “would be Biden.”