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The Justice Department’s filing criticizing former President Trump’s request for a special master to sort out records seized during the FBI’s raid of his Palm Beach, Fla., Mar-a-Lago estate is “feeble and anemic,” Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said Wednesday.
Jarrett told “Hannity” that the filing, which claims among other things that Trump’s team has no standing to request a special master to view the seized documents, is something a freshman law student would reject as sound.
The department argued in the filing that Trump’s request for a special master “fails for multiple, independent reasons,” saying it’s both “unnecessary” and would “harm national security interests.”
The filing also said Trump “lacks standing” for a special master because the records in question belong to the United States, not him – adding a claim that the harm to the United States would outweigh any benefits to the real estate mogul.
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“I read the court filing and I must say, it is one of the most feeble and anemic arguments by Merrick Garland that I think I’ve ever read in a court filing,” Jarrett said.
“No legal standing to go to court, he claims? My goodness, a first year law student knows that if you’re the target of a search and seizure, you have a constitutional right to go to court and argue a violation of the Fourth Amendment to either suppress it or at the very least have a special master review and segregate the material.”
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“The other part of what was in the court filing by Garland was this crazy notion of obstruction of justice. What is that? You have to prove that a person acted corruptly and with an improper purpose in the United States Supreme Court has narrowed it further and said You have to act immorally with a depraved and evil purpose. Where is evidence of that?” he added.
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Jarrett maintained Trump likely had no “corrupt intent” in taking custody of the documents, which the president has said he personally declassified before leaving office.
Critics have also pointed to a 2012 federal court case brought by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch in which Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled denied access to White House audiotapes President Clinton kept in his sock drawer. The court ruled the records then belonged to Clinton, and Berman Jackson denied the National Archives access to them.
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“If [Trump] truly thought he had a right to access and custody of these presidential papers, there’s no corrupt intent here,” Jarrett said, adding the statutes cited in the DOJ filing require “deliberately, willfully breaking the law.”
In regard to a photograph appearing to show records strewn on the floor of Mar-a-Lago next to a box featuring a framed magazine cover depicting Trump, Jarrett said the picture was “prejudicial and gratuitous,” and intended as a way to enflame politicization in the media.
Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/media/jarrett-blasts-feeble-anemic-doj-filing-trump-special-master-case