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Department of Justice makes case for not appointing special master ahead of Thursday hearing

'I think it's becoming more and more serious,' attorney Mark Schnapp says
Posted at 5:22 PM, Aug 31, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It’s been another busy week in federal court in West Palm Beach related to the search at Mar-a-Lago.

A new photo of classified documents seized at the home of former President Donald Trump was released Tuesday night.

Lawyers for the former president and the U.S. Justice Department will be in federal court Thursday for a hearing regarding the possible appointment of a special master.

The photo of the documents was released by the Justice Department in a filing sent to the judge. It shows the items seized Aug. 8 at Mar-a-Lago were labeled "classified" and "top secret" next to a box of framed Time magazine covers.

RELATED: Highly classified documents improperly stored, unlawfully concealed at Mar-a-Lago, affidavit says

Classified documents removed from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate
This image contained in a court filing by the Department of Justice on Aug. 30, 2022, and redacted by in part by the FBI, shows a photo of documents seized during the Aug. 8 search by the FBI of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.

One page reads "all individuals handling this information are required to protect it from unauthorized disclosure in the interest of the national security of the United States."

"I think it's becoming more and more serious, and I think the public is seeing more and more information that should cause public concern," Mark Schnapp, who spent more than seven years in the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Florida, said.

Schnapp said the new filing presents new information on the documents at Mar-a-Lago that were supposedly taken from the White House and how much trouble the feds had trying to get them back.

Mark Schnapp, who spent more than seven years in the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Florida, speaks about Mar-a-Lago case
Mark Schnapp explains what a Tuesday night filing by the Department of Justice means in the case surrounding classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.

"What the pleadings really show is the effort by the government to get those documents back and the alleged efforts by former President Trump to withhold the documents," Schnapp said.

The DOJ said the former president has no legal claim to the records and that having a special master come in and sort through the documents would harm national security and impede the investigation.

"If what the Trump lawyers are arguing, in part, is that he has an executive privilege against withholding documents from the current administration, in my view that's absurd," Schnapp said.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, is set to hear arguments on the matter Thursday.