Donald Trump said the seizure of his passport by FBI agents indicated he had run amok when agents searched his Florida resort, but he said he had no idea where or how the documents were found. New information found in the
In a footnote to Tuesday’s court filing, objecting to Mr. Trump’s request for a special master to organize evidence seized on his Mar-a-Lago property, Justice Department officials said three He refuted Trump’s claim that getting a passport is overkill. later returned.
Consistent with the terms of the search warrant, the Department of Justice said in a filing that “the government seized the contents of desk drawers containing classified documents and government records mixed with other documents.”
“Other documents included two expired official passports and one expired personal passport,” it said. “Passport whereabouts are relevant evidence in investigations of unauthorized retention and mishandling of defense information.”
NBC News legal analyst Barbara McQuaid, a former U.S. attorney, said it was clear why the passport was “relevant evidence.”
“Most searches look for identification, such as photographs, IDs, or utility bills, to tie the suspect to the evidence they are looking for. There is a valid inference that it controlled and controlled ,” said McQuade, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School.
According to the Justice Department, a drawer containing classified documents and passports was located in Trump’s “45 Office” in Mar-a-Lago.
“The fact that the passport was found alongside classified documents suggests that he was working with them himself,” McQuaid said.
McQuaid also argued that “this is pretty terrible evidence,” making it difficult for Trump to claim that movers or aides mishandled the documents or were unaware of their existence. There is
NBC News legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirshner agrees.
“The two things we always take when executing a search warrant are evidence of a crime and evidence of title or proprietary information,” Kirshner said. If so, we will seize the bill not because it is evidence of a crime, but because it is evidence of possession and possession.”
A week after the August 8 raid, Trump complained that FBI agents “stole three of my passports” — shortly after Justice Department officials e-mailed Trump’s lawyers. He sent an email and said the Department of Justice had the passports and was returning them.
In his filing seeking a special master, Trump’s attorney claimed that in returning the passports, investigators admitted that the passports were “not validly seized.” His legal team responded to the Justice Department’s submission Wednesday night in a discussion on a special master request set for Thursday.
Trump’s attorney Christina Bob told Fox News last month that the agent’s seizure of passports “shows the level of audacity on their part.”
“Showing how aggressive they were and how excessive they were, they were willing to go past the four corners of the warrant and take whatever they felt fit or they could take. I think there are,” said Bob.
Government filed on Tuesday Noting that the search warrant specifically authorized investigators to remove items mixed with “classified documents,” McQuade and Kirschner found little reason for the government to stick to passports. Agreed. It was photographed and photocopied before being returned to Trump’s attorneys. “We just need to be able to prove that the passport was found next to the contraband,” Kirschner said.
McQuade said investigators returned the passports “because they got what they needed.”
Tom Winter contributed.