DOJ asks judge to hold Trump's office in contempt of court over classified documents: report
Dopnald Trump speaks at rally -- (Photo by Nicholas Kamm for AFP)
December 08, 2022
On Thursday, The Washington Postreported that Justice Department prosecutors are asking a federal judge to hold former President Donald Trump's office in contempt of court, following the discovery of new classified documents stashed at a Trump property despite his legal team's repeated assurances they had already handed over all such material.
"In recent days, Justice Department lawyers have asked U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell to hold Trump’s office in contempt, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sealed court proceedings. But the judge has not yet held a hearing or ruled on the request, they said," reported Spencer S. Hsu, Josh Dawsey, Jacqueline Alemany, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman.
"The request came after months of mounting frustration from the Justice Department with Trump’s team — frustration that spiked in June after the former president’s lawyers provided assurances that a diligent search had been conducted for classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago Club and residence," the report continued. "But the FBI amassed evidence suggesting — and later confirmed through a court-authorized search — that many more remained."
The two new documents turned up in a storage unit in Florida owned by Trump. The discovery was made by an outside team hired by the former president.
"Trump’s team has searched a number of his other properties in recent weeks, in response to the DOJ concerns and instructions from the judge, and turned over two items with classification markings to the government," said the report. "Trump’s advisers told the FBI the items were found in a storage facility used by the former president in West Palm Beach, Fla. Other Trump properties searched in recent weeks include his Bedminster golf course in New Jersey and his home and office at Trump Tower in Manhattan. People familiar with those searches by a private firm say no classified documents were found at those locations."
All of this comes as special counsel Jack Smith investigates whether Trump committed any crimes in his mishandling of classified documents, which reportedly included highest-level information about foreign weapons secrets and clandestine human sources operating on behalf of the United States or its allies.