To stop FBI agents from reviewing specific materials without outside oversight as part of a criminal investigation into papers retrieved from the White House, Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against the US government over the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago residence.
The former president claimed that the seizure of various boxes of documents, including two of his passports, had violated his Fourth Amendment rights. He filed the suit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
It happens as a Florida magistrate gets ready to decide whether or not to unseal the search warrant that sparked the raid two weeks ago.
Justice Department officials have tried to keep the entire document sealed because they believe releasing even a small section of it could compromise an ongoing criminal investigation by exposing witness information or investigative methods.
Investigations are being conducted into Mr. Trump’s alleged handling of classified documents.
The FBI is investigating whether Mr. Trump inappropriately handled records by transferring them from the White House to Mar-a-Lago after he left office in January 2021.
US presidents must submit all of their papers and emails to a government organization called the National Archive.
He claims the items were declassified and has denied any wrongdoing.
‘Politics cannot be allowed to impact the administration of justice. President Donald Trump is the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary and in the 2024 General Election, should he decide to run’, the lawsuit reads.
Sources said that the suit argued, “that the court should appoint a special master – usually a retired lawyer or judge – because the FBI potentially seized privileged materials in its search and the Department of Justice should not itself decide what it can use in its investigation.”
According to reports, the search was conducted per the Espionage Act, and part of the information was related to nuclear weapons.
The legal team for Mr. Trump accuses the justice department of conducting the search as “simply wanting the camel’s nose under the tent so they could rummage for either politically helpful documents or support efforts to thwart President Trump from running again” in the 27-page document submitted to a Florida court.
“President Donald J Trump is the clear frontrunner in the 2024 Republican Presidential Primary and in the 2024 General Election, should he decide to run,” it says.
“Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans,” it continues. “It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes.”
The “shockingly aggressive move” on Mar-a-Lago by about two dozen FBI agents took place “with no understanding of the distress that it would cause most Americans,” said Mr. Trump’s lawyers.
Prosecutors were informed of Mr. Trump’s lawsuit, the Department of Justice (DoJ) stated in a brief statement, and they will respond in court.
According to spokesman Anthony Coley, the “search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was authorized by a federal magistrate judge upon the necessary finding of probable cause.”
This information comes as the New York Times reported on Monday that investigators had retrieved over 300 documents marked with a classified classification from Mr. Trump, including records from the CIA, the National Security Agency, and the FBI.
Mr. Trump’s legal action was filed in West Palm Beach, Florida, before a federal judge who had been nominat4ed to the bench by Mr. Trump in 2020.
The search for classified material has widely been considered to have considerably increased Trump’s legal risks.
A criminal election-fraud investigation in Georgia, two New York investigations into the tax and accounting practices of his real estate empire, and the promotion of the Trump brand are among the additional legal risks he faces. Other legal threats include the DOJ investigations into the attempted reversal of the 2020 presidential election and civil lawsuits over the violence that took place at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Trump refused to concede Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, blaming massive electoral fraud—a fabrication that fueled his followers’ murderous attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
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