Special Master Tells Trump Lawyers They ‘Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It’
- Judge Raymond Dearie asked Trump’s attorneys about the classification status of the Mar-a-Lago records.
- Dearie was named a “special master” at the request of the Trump team.
- “You can’t eat your cake,” Dirie said after Trump’s lawyers refused to confirm Trump’s claim that the records had been declassified.
On Tuesday, a court-appointed “special guru” accused Donald Trump’s legal team of wanting to “eat your cake”.
Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, Deere had pressured the former president’s lawyers to confirm his claims that the records had been declassified. Trump’s team, however, rejected the request, saying handing over the information would compel Trump to “full and specific disclosure of a defense” that he may attempt to defend in the event of a “subsequent indictment.”
But Deerey appeared to disagree with that argument, saying on Tuesday that he would side with the FBI if the former president’s lawyers did not provide him with declassified evidence.
“As far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it,” he said, adding later: “You can’t eat cake and eat at the same time.”
Deere’s remarks are all the more noteworthy given that he was named a “special master” at Trump’s own request. As a special master, Dearie is responsible for reviewing approximately 11,000 government records seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago and filtering out those that may be protected by attorney-client or executive privilege.
Hundreds of documents seized from Mar-a-Lago were marked classified, including some designated top secret, and contained sensitive information about sources and methods, the Justice Department said. But Trump has publicly denied this, claiming he has a “routine order” to declassify all government records transferred from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his presidency.
However, the Justice Department noted last week that his legal team had not made that request in any of the filings.
Trump is “primarily seeking to raise questions about the classification status of the records and their classification under the Presidential Records Act (‘PRA’),” the department said. said in a separate legal document“But the plaintiffs did not actually assert — let alone provide any evidence — that any seized classified records were declassified.”