WASHINGTON (AP) — A criminal investigation into the presence of top-secret information at former President Donald Trump’s Florida home has “spiraled out of control,” his lawyers said Monday in urging a judge to leave in place a directive that temporarily halted core aspects of the Justice Department’s probe.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon last week granted the Trump team’s request for the appointment of an independent arbiter to review records seized during an FBI search of Mar-a-Lago last month, and prohibited for now the department from examining the documents for investigative purposes.
The Justice Department has asked the judge to lift that hold and said it would appeal her ruling to a federal appeals court.
But Trump’s lawyers said in their own motion Monday that the order was a “sensible preliminary step towards restoring order from chaos.”
“This investigation of the 45th President of the United States is both unprecedented and misguided,” they wrote. “In what at its core is a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control, the Government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the 45th President of his own Presidential and personal records.”