Judge rules on appointment of independent expert in Trump search

Judge rules on appointment of independent expert in Trump search

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A U.S. judge is set to decide on Thursday whether to grant Donald Trump's request to appoint an independent expert to review documents seized by the FBI during a search of his Florida home, to determine if any of them can be kept confidential. .

Since this spectacular and unprecedented police operation for a former American head of state, carried out by the FBI on August 8 in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, Donald Trump has been storming against an “illegal and unconstitutional” and repeats having been targeted for political reasons.

Mr Trump, who is flirting more and more openly with the idea of ​​a new candidacy in 2024, has asked the court to appoint an independent expert to review the documents seized and determine which could be returned to him or classified. “confidential” – and therefore would not be usable in the investigations targeting him.

Federal magistrate Aileen Cannon, whom Donald Trump himself appointed in 2020, must examine his request Thursday during a hearing in Florida, during which Republican lawyers and Justice Department officials are expected to cross swords.

The department opposed the appointment of an independent third party, saying it could block investigators' access to documents “and would seriously harm government interests, including national security.”

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According to a ministry document, the top-secret texts seized from the former president's home were “probably hidden” to hinder the federal police investigation against him.

In January, the former president's teams handed over 15 boxes of documents he had taken when he left the White House to the national archives agency, responsible for recording presidential activities for history.

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It was after examining these boxes that the FBI, convinced that Donald Trump was keeping other classified documents in Florida, under potentially inappropriate conditions, decided to search, seizing on this occasion about thirty other boxes of documents.

“They took documents protected” by confidentiality between client and lawyer, Donald Trump had said.

Investigators suspect the Republican of having violated an American law on espionage which very strictly regulates the possession of confidential documents. Donald Trump assured that these documents had been declassified.

He is also the target of investigations into his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and his role in the assault of his supporters against the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

He is not currently being prosecuted in any case.