October 5, 2022

New twist in Trump-DOJ battle over Mar-a-Lago raid

The Washington Post reports that former President Donald Trump’s legal team had at one point told the National Archives that only news clippings were being kept in the boxes at Mar-a-Lago. 

If true, that’s a big difference from what has been found at Trump’s estate – at least, based on what has been reported.

The Post cites “people familiar” with the situation for its report.

Per the Post: 

During a September 2021 phone call with top Archives lawyer Gary Stern, former deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin offered reassuring news: Philbin said he had talked to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who made the assertion about the dozen boxes of clippings, the people familiar with the call said. Trump’s team was aware of no other materials, Philbin said, relaying information he said he got from Meadows.

Philbin also told Stern that Meadows had assured him that no documents had been destroyed.

We don’t know a lot of specifics about what was being kept at Mar-a-Lago. But, the Department of Justice (DOJ) claims to have recovered hundreds of classified documents from there.

It is unclear how this latest revelation might factor into the ongoing legal battle between Trump and the DOJ over the documents.

The latest development in the case is that the DOJ is appealing the appointment of a special master to review the materials that were taken by the DOJ during the raid of Mar-a-Lago.

A spokesman for Meadows put out a statement, saying, “Mr. Meadows did not personally review the boxes at Mar A Lago and did not have a role in examining or verifying what was or wasn’t contained within them.”

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