Trump Lawyers Reveal Nearly 200,000 Pages of Documents Were Seized by FBI

Lawyers for Donald Trump recently claimed the FBI seized around 200,000 pages of documents from his Mar-a-Lago resort during the search for classified materials, a number significantly higher than the 11,000 that they said was previously cited by the government.

In a letter to Judge Raymond Dearie filed in the Eastern District Court of New York Wednesday, Trump's legal counsel said that they are struggling to find an outside vendor who can upload and host the documents taken from the former president's Florida home in August because of the sheer volume of documents that were seized from Trump's home in August.

Earlier this month, Dearie was appointed to the role of special master in order to review the documents in order to determine which ones are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege. The Department of Justice previously revealed that around 11,000 documents were taken from Mar-a-Lago, in addition to dozens of files marked classified and top secret.

In their letter to Dearie, Trump's team said that the 11,000 documents totaled 200,000 pages, hindering their attempts to bring in an independent vendor to host the documents so all parties can see them.

The lawyers also argued that the volume of the pages seized by the FBI will mean they will need more time for any vendor to go manage the materials before they can be reviewed.

The letter, signed by Trump attorney James Trusty, argued that the "rough rule of thumb" in document reviewing is 50 pages per hour, meaning that the original mid-October deadline for the vendor's work to be complete is unrealistic.

"The problem is compounded by the fact that when plaintiff's counsel referred to either 11,000 pages or even 11,000 documents during the status conference (we are still awaiting the transcript), the government chose not to interject with an accurate number. In conversations between plaintiff's counsel and the government regarding a data vendor, the government mentioned that the 11,000 documents contain closer to 200,000 pages," the letter from Trump's legal team said.

"That estimated volume, with a need to operate under the accelerated timeframes supported by the government, is the reason why so many of the government's selected vendors have declined the potential engagement."

fbi seized 200000 trump documents
In this aerial view, Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen on September 14, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump's legal team recently notified the judge serving as special master in the case regarding documents seized from Mar-a-Lago that there have been issues finding a vendor to scan and host the estimated 200,000 pages. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump's team has now asked Dearie for an extension for the outside vendor to complete their work as "it would be better to base deadlines on actual data and not wistful claims by the government."

Dearie was one of two picks Trump suggested to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to serve as the special master as part of the federal investigation into allegations the former president mishandled classified materials when he left the White House in January 2021.

Trump has repeatedly argued that he declassified the top-secret materials before they were kept in his Florida home, a disputed claim which has not been backed up by his lawyers in official court filings.

Newsweek has reached out to the Department of Justice for comment.