Trump's high-level security clearance extended to 2023: Lawyers for Mar-a-Lago seized docs case

Lawyers said that a government document from June 2023 reveals that Trump had a "Q" clearance from the Department of Energy, indicating he maintained a security clearance after leaving the White House

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

On Tuesday, former President Donald J. Trump's lawyers filed a "motion to compel discovery" in the classified documents Mar-a-Lago case.

Trump's legal team argued that the former Republican President acted in "good faith and non-criminal states of mind" when he took the classified documents from the White House and transported them to his Mar-a-Lago residence in West Palm Beach, Florida, according to court documents.

Additionally, Trump’s lawyers claim in the filing that a government document from June 2023 reveals that Donald Trump had a "Q" clearance from the Department of Energy, which indicates he maintained an active security clearance years after he left the White House.

At a November court hearing in Florida, Trump attorney Todd Blanche made his initial public mention of the "Q" clearance. He stated that he had obtained information that Trump "continued to have an active clearance" at that time," according to the Washington Post. The outlet stated that a "Q" clearance "refers to a type of security clearance handled by the agency, whose classified information focuses largely on nuclear secrets."

The 65-page legal filing requests prosecutors with special counsel Jack Smith's office to produce further information about the alleged evidence they have on the former president.

They demanded correspondence between Smith's office and the Biden administration, contending that such correspondence could expose the political motivations behind the indictment against Trump.

Furthermore, they urged prosecutors to provide additional substantiation regarding the alleged harm inflicted by Trump’s possession of the documents.

The Energy Department is accused in the filing of attempting to alter an "inconvenient truth" by removing Trump’s name from the clearance list several weeks following his indictment.

A previous court filing claims that one of the documents Trump had stored in his personal Florida residence pertained to nuclear codes, which is reportedly off-limits, despite a "Q" clearance. However, that document had been found to be marked "formerly restricted," according to the Washington Post.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 40 counts, which include willful retention of national defense information; obstruction, withholding or altering of documents; and making false statements.

Donald Trump, who is the frontrunner in the 2024 GOP primary presidential election, has maintained his innocence. The case was brought forth by President Biden's Special Counsel Jack Smith. Trump has accused President Biden of weaponizing the Department of Justice against his top political rival.

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