Following the Mar-a-Lago raid, Trump asked for (and was granted) a special master to review government docs.
In a new filing, his attorneys argued that vendors don’t want to work with them because of the volume of documents.
In the filing, they said that “seasoned IT professionals” can’t meet the DOJ’s rigid deadlines.
Trump’s legal team in a new filing is arguing that they can’t retain a vendor to digitize the documents to be handed over to a special master for review because there are simply too many files, and too tight of a deadline.
The filing was in response to the government’s filing on Tuesday, where the Department of Justice said that the vendors simply refused to be engaged by Trump’s team.
But in their filing asking special master Raymond Dearie to consider new, longer deadlines in the digitization and turnover of the documents, Trump’s legal team said it was more complex — and that they needed until mid-October to get the job done.
In August, the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and retrieved close to 11,000 White House documents that he had taken with him. The Justice Department is looking into whether Trump broke several laws by holding onto White House documents, including classified documents. Trump had denied wrongdoing.
Following the raid, Trump’s team sued the DOJ asking for a third party, or special master, to review the documents. Dearie, a retired senior federal judge, was chosen on September 16 and has a deadline of November 30. The first step is to digitize the documents retrieved by the FBI for Dearie, but there are already delays.
“The problem is compounded by the fact that when Plaintiff’s counsel referred to either 11,000 pages or even 11,000 documents during the status conference (we are still awaiting the transcript), the Government chose not to interject with an accurate number,” Trump’s counsel wrote. “In conversations between Plaintiff’s counsel and the Government regarding a data vendor, the Government mentioned that the 11,000 documents contain closer to 200,000 pages.”
The former president’s legal team said that the number of pages and the timeframe to scan them was too short, claiming that was the uniform reason why all vendors declined to work with Trump.
“That estimated volume, with a need to operate under the accelerated timeframes supported by the Government, is the reason why so many of the Government’s selected vendors have declined the potential engagement,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “In short, seasoned IT professionals who routinely work on large-scale document productions with the Government cannot meet the Government’s proposed schedule.”
On Tuesday, the DOJ asked special master Raymond Dearie for an additional day to turn over nonclassified documents in the investigation. Federal prosecutors said they needed until Wednesday because none of the five vendors they suggested to digitize the cache of documents “were willing to be engaged by Plaintiff.”
Dearie, so far, has pushed back on several of Trump’s legal team’s claims in the case. Recently, Dearie appointed an aide whom Trump is set to pay $500 an hour and has asked the Trump team to provide proof that the FBI planted evidence during its search of Mar-a-Lago, which Trump has claimed.
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