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Trump files a response to the DOJ filing about his request for a special master

Mar-a-Lago is seen Aug. 16, 2022, a week after the FBI searched the home of former President Trump in Palm Beach, Fla., for classified documents.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Mar-a-Lago is seen Aug. 16, 2022, a week after the FBI searched the home of former President Trump in Palm Beach, Fla., for classified documents.

Former President Donald Trump's legal team has filed a response to the Justice Department's filing last night, which had revealed new details about the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago for classified documents.

Trump's lawyers said they wanted the special master to decide questions of executive privilege, not just the limited question of attorney-client privilege. Some legal experts have said that executive privilege exists during a dispute between different branches of government, not the same one, as in this case.

Late Tuesday, prosecutors provided a 36-page court filing, which detailed efforts to hide sensitive documents that belong to the U.S. The filing included a photo showing top-secret documents on the floor at Mar-a-Lago, the former president's Florida home, which seem to have been kept with Trump's collection of framed magazine covers.

In Wednesday's response, Trump's attorneys downplayed the Justice Department's concerns about the classified material found at Mar-a-Lago, saying in the filing that there was no "cause for alarm."

They added that the Justice Department "significantly mischaracterized" in their filing a meeting in June between prosecutors and Trump's legal team. And, they added, that without a special master, prosecutors will "impugn, leak and publicize" details of its investigation.

The Justice Department previously said that a team examining the material seized at Mar-a-Lago has already "identified a limited set of materials that potentially contain attorney-client privileged information, [and] completed its review of those materials."

The team "is in the process of following the procedures ... to address potential privilege disputes, if any," the department said in a filing on Monday. "Additionally, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence ("ODNI") are currently facilitating a classification review of materials recovered pursuant to the search. As the Director of National Intelligence advised Congress, ODNI is also leading an intelligence community assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of these materials."

A federal judge will decide Thursday whether to appoint a special master in the case. She has previously said she is inclined to do so. The hearing is set for 1 p.m. ET.

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Washington desk