DOJ 'Demands' Trump Turn Over Other Classified Docs

Sources say department isn't convinced the team has done so yet
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2022 1:11 AM CDT
Justice Department Doesn't Believe Trump Has Turned Over Everything: Sources
This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and partially redacted by the source, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 FBI search of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.   (Department of Justice via AP, File)

The Justice Department believes former President Trump still has classified documents in his possession, according to sources who spoke to the New York Times and CNN. The sources say a top DoJ official recently told Trump's attorneys that the former president must return any documents marked as classified, indicating the department does not believe all the outstanding documents have in fact been turned over to the National Archives. But, the outlets note, it's not clear whether DoJ officials have gathered new evidence that Trump has not cooperated with the effort to recover classified material. Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported that in February, a Trump lawyer declined a request from Trump that he issue a statement saying all necessary documents had been returned, because the lawyer wasn't sure that was the truth.

According to the Times, Trump's lawyers were split in their opinion on how the president should respond to the DoJ's recent outreach, which CNN refers to as a "demand": One side believed the team should cooperate and bring in outside forensic experts to search for more documents; the other side, which Trump ended up siding with, urged a less cooperative, more combative stance. Prosecutors have already indicated in multiple court filings that they suspect some classified documents remain missing. "With respect to the second issue concerning whether former President Trump has surrendered all presidential records, we respectfully refer you to the Department of Justice in light of its ongoing investigation," the National Archives said last week. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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