Speed Reads

Contemptuous behavior

DOJ reportedly pushing to hold Trump's legal team in contempt

Investigators from the Department of Justice have reportedly asked a federal judge to hold the legal team representing former Presdent Donald Trump in contempt of court over what prosecutors claim to be insufficient compliance with a subpoena demanding the return of all classified documents in Trump's possession. 

According to the Washington Post, DOJ prosecutors made the request as Trump's legal team reportedly refuses to sign a document affirming that the former president has indeed returned to the government all potentially classified material in his possession, as required by a subpoena issued this past May. The exact request and underlying legal basis remain sealed, and the Post reports that U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell has not, as of yet, made any decision on the matter. 

The news comes shortly after a team of investigators hired by the former president reportedly uncovered two additional pieces of classified material in a storage locker containing various items from an office used by administration staffers at the end of Trump's presidency. That discovery, as well as the DOJ's Thursday request, suggest the government remains skeptical the former president has indeed fully complied with the May subpoena. 

In a brief statement to the Post, a Trump spokesperson called the matter "a political witch hunt unlike anything like this country has ever seen," and insisted that the former president and his attorneys have been "cooperative and transparent." 

The Washington Post's report was published shortly before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals officially ended a Trump-requested special master review of items confiscated by the FBI during its August search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. That material may now be used by recently-named special counsel Jack Smith, who has been tasked with spearheading the DOJ's ongoing investigations into Trump's handling of classified material and the Jan. 6 insurrection.