Clemency files, legal agreements and “presidential calls” among records separated by Justice Department filter team in Mar-a-Lago search

Washington – Two detailed lists of documents seized during FBI investigation at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence and separated from a team of agents sifting through records for potential insiders, he offered an inside look at how the group operates and the wide variety of things Trump took with him when he left the White House.

The material includes government records on clemency requests, notes on Trump’s calls and settlement and retention agreements, according to logs from federal investigators that were accidentally unsealed and published by Bloomberg.

The lists were attached as exhibits to an Aug. 30 court filing by the Justice Department that was unsealed Monday and included in the court’s public docket. But the two detailed lists were supposed to remain under seal, as ordered by US District Judge Aileen Cannon, and were soon resealed once the mistaken release was discovered. Lists are no longer accessible. Bloomberg, however, obtained the logs when they were accidentally made public and published the files.

The Justice Department declined to comment, and Trump’s lawyers did not return a request for comment.

The logs detail documents in the custody of a privilege review team, a group of federal agents separate from those involved in the criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of sensitive government records. The privilege review team was responsible for sifting through the thousands of files obtained from a warehouse and Trump’s office at Mar-a-Lago and separating those that may be potentially privileged.

Justice Department lawyers told Cannon in the public portion of the deposition that the privilege review team identified 64 sets of materials, consisting of about 520 pages, that warranted further review and were divided into two groups, listed in the accidentally unsealed directories.

Twenty-one sets of materials on the first list are primarily government records, public documents, and communications to or from third parties, “virtually none” of which appear to be privileged attorney-client communications or covered by the attorney work product doctrine, according to federal prosecutors.

Among the items detailed in the first log file are a “2019 Immigration Initiative Plan,” a document titled “Executive Action to Curb Illegal Immigration and Move Towards Decent Entry,” and a printed email between the White House and of the National Security Council regarding the release of John Walker Lindh, a California man who was captured with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and released from an Indiana prison in 2019.

The first set also includes numerous files related to requests for clemency, some of which contain initials such as “RN,” “IR” and “JC,” or full names such as former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose proposal Trump commuted in February 2020.

Blagojevich was convicted of 18 corruption-related charges, including trying to sell Barack Obama’s open Senate seat after he was elected president in 2008. He was he was sentenced to 14 years to prison in 2011, and a federal appeals court overturned some of his convictions in 2015.

There is also a 39-page document titled “The President’s Calls” that featured the presidential seal in the upper left corner and contained handwritten names, numbers and notes that “appear to be mostly messages,” according to the diary. One of the notes says “Message from Rudy,” though it may be a reference to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former lawyer.

The filter team also recorded the contents of a red envelope marked “NARA letters & other copies” and the contents of a Manila envelope marked “NARA letters one top sheet + 3 signature sheets”. NARA is the National Archives and Records Administration.

The second detailed log from the privilege review team contains 43 sets of materials that are “legal in nature” or potentially sensitive, according to the filing, and do not appear to be government or presidential records or classified files. But Justice Department lawyers said “much of this material does not appear to be privileged.”

The first item listed is described as a medical letter from Dr. Harold Bornstein, Trump’s former personal physician, dated September 13, 2016. A letter from Bornstein on the same date was released by Trump’s presidential campaign during his first run for the White House and stated that the then-candidate was in “excellent physical health.”

Also included in the second detailed log are letters from the law firm “Morgan Lewis about taxes,” invoices for legal fees, a “confidential settlement agreement” between the PGA Tour and Trump Golf signed by Trump, IRS forms and a ” retainer agreement For Alina Habba, one of Trump’s lawyers.The stock also cites an “email that accepts Trump’s resignation from SAG,” or the Screen Actors Guildand a “non-disclosure agreement and contract agreement regarding Save America,” its political action committee.

Federal prosecutors detailed in the unsealed portion of the 15-page filing the search process and protocols the privilege review team followed when executing the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8.

The privilege review team, Justice Department lawyers said, has completed its review of the materials in its custody. The filing told the court what characteristics the team was looking for to set aside documents that could be considered privileged.

“During the search, Privilege Review team agents took a broad view of potentially privileged information to include any documents to, from, or even reference to an attorney (regardless of whether the document appeared to capture communications to or from an attorney for the purpose of seeking legal advice and regardless of who the attorney represented),” Justice Department lawyers explained in their filing. “The Privilege Review Team agent also treated any legal document as potentially privileged.”

But Trump filed suit in federal district court after the FBI’s Mar-a-Lago probe and asked the court to appoint an outside legal expert to review the 11,000 documents seized by federal agents for any that might be subject to attorney-client claims. or executive privilege.

Cannon granted Trump’s request for an independent arbitrator, or special master, last month and appointed Raymond Deary, a longtime federal district court judge, to review the records.

Trump criticized the Justice Department for the investigation and, in a post on the social media platform Truth Social last month, accused federal investigators of “improperly” taking his “complete and highly confidential medical record and history, with all bells and whistles. ” along with personal tax records and “attorney/client/privileged information.”

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