(Washington) A federal judge, an independent expert, is now responsible for reviewing thousands of documents seized in early August from the home of Donald Trump, a judge ruled Thursday, also confirming a decision restricting investigators’ access to them.
Updated yesterday at 9:33 PM.
The Republican billionaire had asked the court to appoint an independent third party to examine papers seized during the August 8 search, which is astonishing and unprecedented for a former president.
Federal investigators behind this police operation suspect that Mr. Trump kept highly classified documents at his home.
The US Justice Department said on Monday it had accepted one of the names proposed by Mr Trump’s lawyers, and Florida Judge Eileen Cannon confirmed the name of that independent expert Thursday night.
It’s Raymond Deere, 78, a part-retired federal judge in New York.
He is now responsible for determining whether some of the seized documents can be returned to Mr. Trump or classified as “secret” – and therefore no longer usable in investigations against him.
MI Cannon, who was nominated by Trump himself in 2020, also on Thursday upheld an earlier ruling that the Justice Department has challenged.
She had, last week, prohibited the use of all documents seized during the inspection as long as the independent expert had not declared. And the ministry requested to be able to access at least some of them, a hundred, classified.
The judge rejected the request on Thursday.
On August 8, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s Florida residence, and confiscated boxes of classified documents that the Republican had not returned after leaving the White House, despite multiple requests.
Federal investigators suspect that the Republican has violated the US Espionage Act, which strictly regulates the possession of classified documents. Donald Trump confirmed that these documents have been declassified.
Donald Trump, who publicly plans to run for president in 2024, has since opposed the search, which he considers “illegal and unconstitutional” and repeats that he was targeted for political reasons.
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