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Prosecutor defends integrity of investigation against Donald Trump

The team of prosecutors accusing former President Donald Trump of irregular storage of confidential presidential documents rejected the arguments presented by the Republican’s defense that investigators had treated these files irregularly. The boxes were found in an FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, one of Trump’s homes, in 2022.

Prosecutors, with several never-before-seen images and a 30-page file, detailed the search process and ridiculed Trump’s legal arguments.

“Trump personally chose to keep documents containing some of the nation’s best-kept secrets in cardboard boxes,” prosecutors wrote, “along with a collection of other personally chosen mementos of various sizes and shapes from his presidency — newspapers, thank you notes, Christmas cards, ornaments, magazines, clothes and photographs of you and other people.”

Trump’s latest attempt to dismiss the case came after prosecutors acknowledged that some of the documents had become out of order in their individual boxes after being seized by the government.

Trump’s lawyers have previously argued that because the order of the boxes’ contents was changed, it affects their ability to build a defense around when certain classified material was placed in each box, given where it was inside Mar-a-Lago and what documents – including news articles – were next to it.

The new document from Smith’s team provides granular details about how the search was conducted, the protocols followed by FBI agents, and how certain documents were removed from the boxes and by whom.

Prosecutors highlighted how investigators found boxes with their contents spilled on the floor, which they also illustrated with photos taken by investigators and one of Trump’s co-defendants.

“In this context of how randomly Trump chose to keep his boxes,” Trump argues that the precise order of the contents “was critical to his defense,” prosecutors said, ridiculing the argument.

To bolster their arguments, prosecutors attached several new photos of the boxes, some of which were taken during the search. Two photos were taken by Trump co-defendant and valet Walt Nauta in December 2021 when he was transporting boxes to Trump’s residence for inspection and discovered that some of the boxes had fallen over. Other photos were taken during the search, and prosecutors included some photos to show news clippings, personal effects and memorabilia that were found mixed in with classified government materials.

Prosecutors also say that the “integrity of what was found, that is, box-to-box integrity” was maintained.

“Nothing was lost, much less destroyed, and there was no bad faith,” they added.

To reject defense lawyers’ claim that internal FBI emails suggested agents had long known there was a problem with how the boxes were seized, prosecutors revealed what the emails were actually about. : that a witness discovered additional confidential material at Mar-a-Lago the day after the August 2022 search.

Prosecutors argued that Trump’s previous remarks about the documents — including that he designated them as his personal documents and declassified them — contradict the defense that ordering the documents would help prove he was unaware of the boxes’ contents.

“The Court should see Trump’s newly invented explanations and motion for what they really are – his latest baseless accusations against the law enforcement professionals who do their jobs,” they wrote.

Source: CNN Brasil

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