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 December 13, 2022

Judge denies DOJ's request to hold Trump in contempt of court

A federal judge has denied the Department of Justice's (DOJ) request to hold former President Donald Trump in contempt of court, ABC News reports

It is an unexpected ruling considering that the judge who made it is U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, an appointee of former President Barack Obama.

This all has to do with the ongoing documents dispute between President Joe Biden's DOJ and Trump. This is the same dispute that saw the unprecedented FBI raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

The DOJ maintains that Trump illegally took documents from his administration and stored them at his properties. Trump disputes this, and he further maintains that the DOJ's motivation here is political.

This latest development in the case stems from a May subpoena.

CNN, last week, reported:

. . . Trump’s legal team said it conducted searches at four locations just before Thanksgiving, finding two documents with classified markings at a storage facility in Florida. The Trump team turned over those two documents to the FBI and announced to a federal judge in Washington, DC, that they believed Trump was now in compliance with a 6-month-old subpoena.

However, the DOJ, according to the outlet, "disagreed."

It is for this reason that the DOJ pursued a contempt of court charge against Trump - for his supposed failure to comply with this subpoena. The key piece of information that we do not know is why the DOJ believes that Trump has not complied with the subpoena.

The contempt of court hearing took place on Friday under seal.

Judge Howell, according to sources, sided with Trump. ABC News reports that Howell even "urged the Justice Department and Trump’s legal team to resolve the dispute themselves.

It is certainly not the result that the DOJ was hoping for. The department, though, has not commented on Howell's decision.

For Trump, on the other hand, this is a small victory: the chances are that he would have had to pay a fine if found in contempt.

Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Trump, has released a statement on the matter.

Cheung said:

The President and his counsel will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of the highly weaponized and corrupt witch-hunt from the Department of "Justice." If the Department of "Justice" can go after President Trump, they will surely come after any American who they disagree with. President Trump is the only one who stands in the way of the un-American weaponization of law enforcement.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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