Justice Department asks judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over classified documents

The Department of Justice has asked a judge to hold Donald Trump’s team in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena to return classified documents, according to a report.

Federal investigators launched a probe to see if the one-term president broke the law by taking government documents, some marked top secret, with him when he left the White House in January 2021.

Now the Justice Department has asked US District Court Judge Beryl Howell to sanction Mr Trump’s team, sources told The Washington Post on Thursday.

The judge has not yet held a hearing or ruled on the request, which was filed under seal, according to the newspaper.

The move by the DoJ comes after Mr Trump’s legal team said that it had hired a team to carry out searches at four locations last month, discovering two classified documents at a Florida storage facility.

Mr Trump’s team handed over those documents to the FBI and told a federal judge in Washington DC that they believe the former president has not fulfilled the subpoena.

But federal prosecutors did not agree with that and told Judge Howell that the searches had not been satisfactory, according to CNN.

The Justice Department’s investigation into top secret documents found during a raid of Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in August is now being overseen by special prosecutor Jack Smith.

During that raid, federal agents removed 33 boxes of records that contained more than 100 documents with classified markings.

A spokesperson for Mr Trump told the newspaper that his lawyers “continue to (be) cooperative and transparent.”

A hearing will be held on Friday at which the judge will decide if Mr Trump and his office should be held in contempt, for which they could face fines, says CNN.