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Prosecutors this week refuted former President Trump’s claims that the case related to his retention of classified documents after leaving the White House was political motivated, calling the argument “inaccurate and distorted.”
In a 68-page court filing, special counsel Jack Smith’s team pushed back Friday against Trump’s accusation that there was collusion between the Biden administration, National Archives and special counsel’s office.
“The defendants’ motion paints an inaccurate and distorted picture of events,” prosecutors wrote, calling on the Trump team to address what they called “misstatements,” that will “leave a highly misleading impression on a number of matters” related to the case,” if unanswered.
Smith’s legal team also told the judge that the defendant’s team created a ‘false narrative of the investigation’s origins,” in an attempt, in their view, to discredit the work of government officials.
“Their apparent aim is to cast a cloud of suspicion over responsible actions by government officials diligently doing their jobs,’ prosecutors said in the Friday filing, adding that “the defendants’ insinuations have scant factual or legal relevance to their discovery requests, but they should not stand uncorrected.”
They continued, “Put simply … the Government here confronted an extraordinary situation: a former President engaging in calculated and persistent obstruction of the collection of Presidential records, which, as a matter of law, belong to the United States for the benefit of history and posterity, and, as a matter of fact, here included a trove of highly classified documents containing some of the nation’s most sensitive information.”
The law, prosecutors wrote, required that the documents be collected.
The filing also comes as Trump, and his two co-defendants — Carlos DeOliveira and Walty Nauta — in the case, made attempts to access the government documents that were removed from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in August 2022. Attorneys argued that the documents would provide a valuable piece of evidence to help them to defend their client in court, according to the filing.
Trump, who is currently facing a barrage of civil and criminal cases, was accused of hoarding the documents at his Florida estate and preventing the government’s from retrieving them. He has been accused of violating the Espionage Act for refusing to give back more than 300 records.
The case is currently set for trial on May 20, but that date could be changed.