President Trump asserts multiple seized documents are both personal and protected under executive privilege

by Laura Ramirez

Photo: Alamy

In the latest filing in the legal battle between President Donald Trump and the Department of Justice (DOJ), Trump reportedly asserted that the FBI seized two personal documents that are also protected by executive privilege. However, the DOJ disputes those assertions, saying that the personal documents are not official records protected under executive privilege, the Washington Examiner reported.

In a Thursday legal filing addressed to Special Master Judge Raymond Dearie, the DOJ claims that it met with Trump’s legal team “to confer and attempt to resolve or narrow the disputes regarding claims of executive privilege and designations pursuant to the Presidential Records Act.”

The court document states:

“Plaintiff asserts Executive Privilege over four documents (1, 6, 15, and 16). In his log entries, Plaintiff claims that documents 1 and 6 are pre-decisional and invokes a deliberative-process component of Executive Privilege. Plaintiff claims that documents 15 and 16 record communications between the President and his advisors and for those documents appears to invoke the Presidential communications component of Executive Privilege.”

The DOJ offered multiple reasons as to why Trump cannot claim executive privilege over the documents, adding that the president “cannot logically assert Executive Privilege over two of the documents – 15 and 16 – because the parties agree that those documents are personal and not Presidential records.”

“Only official records are subject to assertions of Executive Privilege,” the DOJ added.

The Hill notes that Dearie has already pushed the Trump legal team to present additional information to back the claims of executive privilege.

“It’s a little perplexing as I go through the log,” Dearie said, pressing Trump’s legal team to provide more details about why a list of documents set apart by the DOJ would be subject to executive privilege. “What’s the expression — ‘Where’s the beef?’ I need some beef.”

The filing comes as the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to intervene in the legal battle between Trump and the DOJ, following the FBI’s raid of Mar-a-Lago in August, per RSBN.

SCOTUSblog reported that “The court offers no explanation for its decision (as is common for actions on the shadow docket), and there are no recorded dissents.”

The high court’s decision comes after President Trump’s legal team made an emergency request, asking the court to intervene in the legal clash over the seized documents by vacating a stay of an order by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida by the Eleventh Circuit, according to RSBN.

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