Trump Drops Privilege Claims Over Nine Mar-a-Lago Documents

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team has withdrawn privilege claims over certain documents seized at his Mar-a-Lago home, a Monday filing shows.

The 3-page joint filing (pdf) dated Oct. 24 said the former president dropped his initial claims of executive and attorney-client privilege—a policy to contain presidential communications from disclosure—over a total of nine documents that include dozens of pages. According to the court document from both sides, Trump and government attorneys agreed that the documents could be passed on to investigators “in the interest of efficiently resolving such issues and avoiding unnecessary litigation.”

“The parties agree that these materials can be provided immediately to the government’s Case Team so that issues concerning executive privilege and the Presidential Records Act can be resolved,” the papers read.

It came as federal U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie was independently reviewing more than 11,000 government documents and photographs the FBI seized from former President Donald Trump‘s Florida estate on Aug. 8.

Given that 103 documents are marked classified, Dearie, appointed on Sept. 15 as a special master, has until Dec. 16 to determine whether any materials should not be reviewed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which could potentially be covered by claims of attorney-client or executive privilege. Last Tuesday, Dearie encouraged lawyers from both parties to beef up their claims over DOJ’s criminal investigation.

The latest move “resolved all outstanding attorney-client privilege disputes with respect to the materials segregated by the Privilege Review Team,” the paper reads.

Earlier this month, the DOJ appealed Dearie’s appointment, asking a federal court to halt the use of a special master in the Mar-a-Lago case, in which the department is investigating potential violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice.

Trump, who called the FBI search and seizure a “hoax,” has been in a legal battle with the Justice Department since August as his lawyers seek to limit document access in the criminal inquiry.


Rita Li is a reporter with The Epoch Times, focusing on U.S. and China-related topics. She began writing for the Chinese-language edition in 2018.

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