Companies that specialize in storing classified documents are lukewarm about getting involved in the legal fight over former President Donald Trump storing sensitive materials at his residence, the Justice Department said in a Friday court filing.
The special master tasked with reviewing the 11,000 documents seized by FBI agents ordered the government and Mr. Trump‘s legal team to come up with a list of third-party vendors who could securely store the documents, which allegedly detail some of the government’s most sensitive secrets.
Both sides were told earlier this week to have the list ready by the end of the day Friday.
But the Justice Department said in a court filing that vendors just aren’t interested in the case. The department said it reached out to six vendors and only one expressed interest. Another vendor said it wasn’t interested, and four more had not responded as of Friday afternoon.
Department lawyers asked the special master, U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie, to give them until Tuesday to select a vendor and ink a contract.
Until a secured vendor can be hired, the government said, they can’t turn over the materials seized from Mr. Trump‘s residence to Judge Dearie.
They also asked to have until the end of next week to provide the vendor with the classified documents, saying travel time, scanning, processing, and hosting the materials all take more time than under the current schedule.
The government’s lawyers said Mr. Trump‘s legal team has agreed to the deadline extension.
In a separate filing, the Trump team urged Judge Dearie to craft a set of strict penalties to prevent the employees at the selected vendor from leaking details about the material to the press.
They said Judge Dearie should punish any leakers by holding them in contempt of court “or any other legally available sanction that the court deems appropriate.”
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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