Trump appears to concede he illegally retained official documents in filing
Donald Trump appeared to concede in his court filing surrounding the seizure of materials from his Florida resort that he unlawfully retained official government documents,
as the former president argued that some of the documents collected by the FBI could be subject to executive privilege.
The motion submitted on Monday by the former president’s lawyers argued that a court should appoint a so-called special master to separate out and determine what materials the justice department can review as evidence due to privilege issues.
But the argument from Trump that some of the documents are subject to executive privilege protections indicates that those documents are official records that he is not authorized to keep and should have turned over to the National Archives at the end of the administration.
The motion, in that regard, appeared to concede that Trump violated one of the criminal statutes listed on the warrant used by
the FBI to search the former president’s Mar-a-Lago resort – 18 USC 2071 – concerning the unlawful removal of government records.
“If he’s acknowledging that he’s in possession of documents that would have any colorable claim of executive privilege,
those are by definition presidential records and belong at the National Archives,” said Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent and former associate dean at Yale Law School.