Lawyers for President Donald Trump refused to give Judge Raymond Dearie any information about the former president's claims that he declassified all of the documents found at his Palm Beach country club.
The judge has requested the lawyers elaborate, a court filing from the special master said, but his lawyers dismissed it, saying that there would be a "time and place" for that.
“Otherwise, the Special Master process will have forced the Plaintiff to fully and specifically disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment without such a requirement being evident in the District Court’s order,” Trump’s lawyers explained in the court filing.
Former prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, predicted that Trump is about to start a campaign attacking Dearie.
"Dearie's response to Trump saying it can't answer as its a possible trial defense is going to be: either you are saying it now or you are not. If you do not now want to claim your declassified docs that is fine, and your choice, but then the docs are not being returned to you," said Weissmann.
The Trump team will be "ruing the day it proposed Judge Dearie and appalled he is asking for their position on declassification," Weissmann continued. "As sure as the night follows the day, the next Trump tactic will be denigrating Dearie publicly and asking Cannon to clip his wings."
The Justice Department’s legal team replied to the Trump team's hints with their own comments.
“Plaintiff principally seeks to raise questions about the classification status of the records and their categorization under the Presidential Records Act (‘PRA’). But plaintiff does not actually assert — much less provide any evidence — that any of the seized records bearing classification markings have been declassified,” said the DOJ.
“Such possibilities should not be given weight absent plaintiff’s putting forward competent evidence,” the court documents added.