Judge rejects DOJ bid to hold Trump team in contempt over classified documents: reports

A federal judge on Friday denied the Justice Department’s request to hold members of former President Donald Trump’s legal team or the former president himself in contempt of court for failing to turn over classified White House documents.

DC District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell After a closed-door hearing that lasted more than an hour Friday afternoon, Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department were ordered to settle the dispute amicably. This is reported by ABC News.

The DOJ sought charges against Trump, 76, and his lawyers for failing to comply with a May subpoena demanding the return of sensitive material to the federal government.

“The President and his advisers will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of a heavily armed and corrupt Justice Department witch hunt,” Trump spokesman Stephen Cheung said in a statement Friday.

“If the Justice Department can go after President Trump, they will certainly go after any American they disagree with,” he added. “President Trump is the only person standing in the way of un-American arming of law enforcement.”

Trump’s lawyers have reportedly stepped up efforts to gather any classified documents recently.

D.C. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell ordered Trump’s lawyers and the DOJ to settle the dispute amicably.

According to multiple reports earlier this week, at least two classified documents were found by the Trump team during a search of a storage facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, late last month. These documents were later handed over to the FBI.

But a major point of contention between the DOJ and lawyers remains the former president’s legal team’s refusal to appoint a records custodian to certify that all classified material has been returned to the National Archives. This was reported by the Washington Post Thursday.

The DOJ is investigating whether Trump broke the law by keeping US government records, some classified as top secret, after he left office. So far, the government has reportedly tracked hundreds of classified documents that Trump has kept since his term ends in January 2021.


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