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Trump asks judge in documents case for presidential perk

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Former President Donald Trump wants the government to reestablish a secure facility at Mar-a-Lago so he can discuss purported classified documents that he’s accused of illegally keeping there with his attorneys.

Trump wants to be able to discuss the documents at home instead of a secure public facility in southern Florida. Prosecutors want all classified document discussions and review to take place in a sensitive compartmented information facility, or SCIF.

“This request is based on the immense practical and logistical hurdles and costs that make it virtually impossible for President Trump to make regular trips to a public facility to discuss classified discovery material with counsel as necessary to conduct a defense consistent with the rights afforded by the Constitution,” Trump’s attorneys Christopher Kise and Todd Blanche wrote in a motion. “Both the required security protocol surrounding President Trump’s travel and the challenges surrounding the media’s and public’s intense focus on this prosecution pose an enormous obstacle to our ability to provide counsel to President Trump regarding classified matters, which are, no doubt, essential to this case.”

Prosecutors balked at the request.

“Defendant Trump’s personal residences and offices are not lawful locations for the discussion of classified information, any more than they would be for any private citizen,” prosecutors wrote in a motion. “Since the conclusion of Defendant Trump’s presidency, neither the Mar-a-Lago Club nor the Bedminster Club has been an authorized location for the storage, possession, review, display, or discussion of classified information. There is no basis for the defendant’s request that he be given the extraordinary authority to discuss classified information at his residence, and it is particularly striking that he seeks permission to do so in the very location at which he is charged with willfully retaining the documents charged in this case.”

Prosecutors further argued there was no precedent for such an accommodation.

“The government is not aware of any case in which a defendant has been permitted to discuss classified information in a private residence, and such exceptional treatment would not be consistent with the law,” prosecutors wrote in a motion.

In June, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 counts that allege he kept sensitive military documents, shared them with people who didn’t have security clearance, and tried to get around the government’s efforts to get them back.

On Thursday, Trump’s attorneys entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf to additional charges in the documents case. Charges in a superseding indictment allege Trump attempted to delete surveillance video at his Mar-A-Lago home in Florida.

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