The U.S. Justice Department has asked a federal judge to hold Donald Trump and his legal team in contempt of court for not complying with a subpoena issued ordering the 2024 Presidential candidate to turn over all classified documents.
The Washington Post broke the news:
Prosecutors have urged a federal judge to hold Donald Trump’s office in contempt of court for failing to fully comply with a May subpoena to return all classified documents in his possession, according to people familiar with the matter — a sign of how contentious the private talks have become over whether the former president still holds any secret papers.
In recent days, Justice Department lawyers have asked U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell to hold Trump’s office in contempt, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sealed court proceedings. But the judge has not yet held a hearing or ruled on the request, they said.
The request came after months of mounting frustration from the Justice Department with Trump’s team — frustration that spiked in June after the former president’s lawyers provided assurances that a diligent search had been conducted for classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago Club and residence. But the FBI amassed evidence suggesting — and later confirmed through a court-authorized search — that many more remained.
The FBI’s raid at the behest of the National Archives and Records Administration has not yielded the “nuclear secrets” that the Washington Post reported in August were in Trump’s possession. Instead, days after a highly contested election where Democrats relied in part on the unsubstantiated reports to keep Trump’s name in the news, and thus to turn out its party base, the Washington Post has effectively made a guilty confession: There is “no there, there.”
The Post is now reporting that a “review by agents and prosecutors found no discernible business interest in the Mar-a-Lago documents, people familiar with the matter said.”
“As part of the investigation, federal authorities reviewed the classified documents that were recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home and private club, looking to see if the types of information contained in them pointed to any kind of pattern or similarities, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation,” the Post reported.
“That review has not found any apparent business advantage to the types of classified information in Trump’s possession, these people said,” the report continued. “FBI interviews with witnesses so far, they said, also do not point to any nefarious effort by Trump to leverage, sell or use the government secrets. Instead, the former president seemed motivated by a more basic desire not to give up what he believed was his property, these people said. Trump repeatedly said the materials were his, not the government’s — often in profane terms, two of these people said.”
“But they said the evidence collected over a period of months indicates the primary explanation for potentially criminal conduct was Trump’s ego and intransigence,” the report added.
This is apparently the Department of Justice’s backup plan: Process crimes like “obstruction of justice” and “contempt of court.”