Mar-a-Lago documents uncover Trump's wide-ranging legal wrangling
REVEALED: Mar-a-Lago documents uncover the wide-ranging legal wrangling Trump was mired in – including suing niece Mary, changing his rape lawsuit attorney, going after Georgia officials, and fighting PGA tour
- The documents were posted on a court docket and later taken down
- DOJ produced list of documents sorted by ‘privilege review teams’
- Trump has fumed about documents FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago in August
- List of potential ‘privileged’ material references raft of lawsuits
- One references estate planning documents
- One appears to show haggling with counsel Pat Cipollone
- Another is a summons for Trump niece Mary Trump
- Suits include class action against trump to E. Jean Carroll rape accusations
A sealed list of Mar-a-Lago documents reviewed by a Justice Department’ has provided new insights into Donald Trump’s litany of legal squabbles – which range from suing his niece to haggling with a former White House counsel over fees.
DOJ compiled the list of ‘potentially privileged’ documents that were seized from the President’s Florida club in August by teams of FBI agents. They were filed under seal, but posted on a court docket and accidentally revealed Wednesday.
A total of 43 documents are listed on list titled ‘Exhibit B,’ which a special privilege review team proposes to return to Trump, because they could involve attorney-client communications.
One involves a legal fight Trump initiated in 2021 when he sued his niece, Mary, who was a source of the New York Times expose based on thousands of pages of tax documents. Mary Trump, whose father was Trump’s late brother Fred Trump, Jr. She had sued Trump in 2020 claiming she and her sibling were cheated out of an inheritance worth millions whether their grandfather Fred Trump tied.
The DOJ document states simply, ‘Filed summons to Mary L. Trump and complaint in Donald J. Trump v. Mary L. Trump.’
A sealed Justice Department document placed in a court docket lists 43 potentially ‘privileged’ documents that hint at the constellation of legal battles Trump has been engaged in
Another item references E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit against Trump, after he accused her of lying about her own rape allegations against him. The document cites a ‘Trump’ folder ‘containing filed substitution of counsel in E. Jean Carroll vs. Trump.’
Yet another cites a non-disclosure agreement for Trump’s Save America PAC. Trump has long used NDA’s for company and campaign aides, and an NDA featured in his litigation with Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claimed she had an affair with Trump.
One notation indicated Trump had more than settling scores on his mind. It cites a ‘signed letter to transfer files regarding estate planning (from Manila folder marked “legal”). The DOJ document does not provide a date, making it impossible to tell when Trump was transferring the estate documents or to whom.
Many of Trump’s legal moves are already in the public record. A ‘Confidential settlement agreement between PGA & Trump Golf signed by Donald J. Trump’ was reported late last year after sued the tour when it cancelled a tournament at his Bedminster, New Jersey course after the Capitol riot.
‘It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand and would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver on many programs and sustain the longevity of our mission,’ PGA President Jim Richerson said at the time. But the terms are confidential.
Trump courses have since hosted Saudi-backed LIV golf events.
A folder marked ‘Harder’ contains a ‘signed settlement agreement,’ according to the document. Lawyer Charles Harder represented Hulk Hogan in his suit against Gawker, and has repped Trump in his clashes with media organizations.
The document also references a constellation of law firms who come in and out of Trump’s orbit.
One mentions D.C. lawyer Cleta Mtichell, who was involved in his election overturn effort. One mentions a message from ‘Rudy,’ who might be Rudy Giuliani. But the document does not, ‘on its face,’ appear to be related to legal advice, according to the sealed memo.
One note with typos says ‘Joe DeGernova Appoint Special Councel [sic],’ which could indicate Joe diGenova, the former U.S. attorney who appeared with Giuliani at an infamous RNC press conference after the election.
Trump hired diGenova in 2018 amid his attacks on Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Another cites a retainer agreement with Alina Habba, the Bedministser-based lawyer who more recently joined Trump’s team.
The legal trail spans past class action lawsuits against Trump – in a case titled Jane Doe, Luke Doe, Richard Roe, Mary Moe v. Trump – as well as Trump’s more recent gambits.
One references a ‘Civil complaint in Trump v. Kemp & Raffensperger’ – Trump’s legal filing that lashes out at Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who rebuffed his claims of election fraud in a state that certified Joe Biden won. Trump voluntarily dismissed the case last year,
‘Rather than presenting their evidence and witnesses to a court and to cross-examination under oath, the Trump campaign wisely decided the smartest course was to dismiss their frivolous cases,’ Raffensperger said last year.
All of the lawsuits require money, and another document mentions potential wrangling with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone over past fees.
It cites a legal invoice from litigation firm Stein, Mitchell, Beato & Missner.
A post-it not referenced ‘said you agreed to pay this bill? Work prior to his becoming WH counsel.’ ‘No.’
Cipollone, who defended Trump during his first impeachment, joined the White House from that firm. It was not clear who had delivered the ‘No.’
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