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Trump Attorney Pours Cold Water On Releasing Mar-a-Lago Video Of FBI Raid

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


An attorney for former President Donald Trump has dropped a hammer on releasing security camera footage of the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate early last month.

Alina Habba, in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, said the former president was not keen on releasing any of the footage because he “cares too much” about the federal agents involved in the raid.

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During the interview, Hannity asked Habba directly if any of the footage would be released, but she responded, “I don’t know” before indicating that Trump’s legal team would more likely discuss what the footage shows instead.

“The truth is, unlike some of these federal agencies, we don’t leak. We follow the rules,” Habba said.

“You know why we wouldn’t honestly, Sean, because the president cares too much about the agents and the enforcement that were just doing their job,” Habba told the host. “And we have been told that their lives could be put at risk.”

Habba’s remarks come on the heels of a meeting between Trump’s legal team and lawyers for the Justice Department in New York City set up by a court-appointed special master whose job is to look at documents taken by the FBI during the Aug. 8 raid and determine of they fall under executive or attorney-client privilege.

Former chief federal judge Raymond Dearie, appointed by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon earlier this month, directed attorneys for Trump and the DOJ to attend a “preliminary conference” on Monday, Fox News reported last week.

Lawyers for the two parties were asked to submit “proposed agenda items” to discuss by the meeting date, the outlet added.

FBI officials say agents recovered around 100 items marked as ‘classified’ during the raid, though Trump has said he previously declassified everything in his possession before leaving office per his authority as president.

Fox News notes further:

Dearie was appointed by Cannon, a Trump appointee, who declined a request by the Department of Justice to lift the temporary prohibition of the department’s usage of around 100 classified records which were taken from Mar-a-Lago during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s search on Aug. 8.

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The former veteran chief federal judge will review and separate documents that are covered by claims of privilege.

The Justice Department’s investigation, which is being delayed by the special master process, is reviewing documents recovered by the FBI during its search of Trump’s Florida property.

One former top U.S. spy chief has said he believes the FBI came up short during its raid.

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John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. congressman from Texas whom Trump tapped to serve as director of national intelligence, told Fox News last week that the bureau didn’t find what they were looking” for, based on his observations.

“I was a former federal prosecutor, United States attorney. Let me tell you what this is about. Good prosecutors with good cases play it straight. They don’t need to play games,” Ratcliffe said, in reference to Justice Department officials. “They don’t need to shop for judges, they don’t need to leak intelligence that may or may not exist.”

The Justice Department’s arguments against having a federal court appoint a special master to review allegedly classified documents “tells you that the government didn’t find what they were looking for,” Ratcliffe continued.

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“There weren’t nuclear secrets” at Trump’s estate, he noted further, “and they’re trying to justify what they’ve done. They’re not playing it straight before the American people. I think that that’s going to play out.”

In late August, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who served as one of Trump’s top lawyers and is himself a former federal prosecutor, responded to the Justice Department’s unsealing of the affidavit used to authorize the FBI’s raid.

In an interview with Newsmax TV’s Rita Cosby, Giuliani said that although the heavily redacted affidavit showed little to the public, he believes it revealed everything about how the raid and subsequent seizure of documents and items were illegal.

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