Officials from the Department of Justice (DOJ) claim that former President Trump may still illegally be in possession of classified documents.
DOJ counterintelligence and export control chief Jay Bratt said in a communication with Trump’s legal team that the agency continues to have concerns about whether all of the government documents have been returned since the former president’s exit from the White House, according to The New York Times.
The missing records have loomed large over the past two months since the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home for government documents that they believed had been stored on the ex-president’s private property.
The Justice Department is tied up in court with Trump over its findings from the Mar-a-Lago search. Trump-appointed U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted the former president’s request last month to appoint a third-party special master to analyze the records.
A federal court decided on Wednesday to fast-track a DOJ appeal over the special master appointment, setting in place a Nov. 17 timeline for multiple rounds of briefs between the two parties in the case.
The National Archives and Records Administration made claims to Congress in September concerning Trump-related documents, saying that it is not in possession of all necessary presidential records and that there is “no easy way to establish absolute accountability” for their return.
“The weaponized Department of Justice and the politicized F.B.I. are spending millions and millions of American tax dollars to perpetuate witch hunt after witch hunt,” said Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich in response to inquiries about the missing records.