Former President Donald Trump has lost yet another court battle in the investigation into his efforts to stash top-secret government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
The New York Times reports that Beryl A. Howell, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in Washington, ruled that the former president's lawyers have to hand over the names of private investigators whom they claimed conducted searches of Trump properties for additional classified documents.
According to the Times, the Department of Justice wants the names of the investigators so it can question them personally on their findings.
"The fact that the Justice Department sought a formal order for the investigators’ names suggests an increasing breakdown in trust between prosecutors investigating the documents case and Mr. Trump’s legal team," the paper writes. "And the request comes as a special counsel has taken over the inquiry into whether Mr. Trump willfully retained sensitive records or obstructed the government’s efforts to retrieve them."
Trump's decision to take top-secret documents with him prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland last summer to personally authorize an FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, which led to the former president claiming he was being politically persecuted.