The Justice Department turns a scornful eye towards team Trump in its new filing, suggesting that it should be forced to make good on its baseless claims about the FBI planting evidence and taking swipes at the former President’s infamous business practices.
The document takes on another level of shade, given that Trump’s team has been filing its documents under seal and DOJ hasn’t — enabling the government to respond to, thus reveal, Trump complaints that have been kept from the public.
In his flailing attempts to find exonerating justification for the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago this summer, Donald Trump and his lawyers have touted the conspiracy theory that the agency planted damning materials at his property. So far, though, his team has resisted repeating the accusations in court, where knowingly asserting false claims can be punished.
DOJ is getting increasingly frustrated with this dance, arguing that Trump should, essentially, be forced to put up or shut up.
“Contrary to Plaintiff’s objection, the verification required by Plaintiff of the Detailed Property Inventory is a condition precedent to the document categorization and privilege review,” the government writes. “The Special Master needs to know that that [sic] he is reviewing all of the materials seized from Mar-a-Lago on August 8, 2022 – and no additional materials – before he categorizes the seized documents and adjudicates privilege claims.”
The government also details its issues with getting a document-review vendor on board, citing the vendors’ unwillingness to work with Trump’s team. Trump is notorious for stiffing contractors and employees.
“Plaintiff informed us this morning that none of the five document-review vendors proposed by the government before last Tuesday’s preliminary conference were willing to be engaged by Plaintiff,” DOJ writes, adding with some venom: “The government expects Plaintiff to pay the vendor’s invoices promptly when rendered.”
Trump is the one who requested a special master to sift through the documents, and his team specifically chose U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie from the Eastern District of New York. DOJ agreed to the selection.
Now DOJ, echoing Dearie, is demanding, with some palpable exasperation, that Trump act like the plaintiff he is and participate in the case he initiated.
“Plaintiff brought this civil, equitable proceeding,” DOJ writes. “He bears the burden of proof. If he wants the Special Master to make recommendations as to whether he is entitled to the relief he seeks, Plaintiff will need to participate in the process by categorizing documents and providing sworn declarations as the Amended Case Management Plan contemplates.”
Per a Tuesday filing, Dearie has given team Trump until October 7 to submit a declaration or affidavit in response to the government’s inventory of the materials taken from Mar-a-Lago.
Read DOJ’s filing here: