Judge Declines DOJ Request to Hold Trump Team in Contempt Over Classified Documents

Judge Beryl Howell: Obama

A federal judge (Judge Beryl Howell: Obama) in Washington declined to hold former President Donald Trump or his legal team in contempt of court following a court hearing Friday as the Justice Department had requested, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The judge instead urged the Justice Department and Trump’s legal team to resolve the dispute themselves, the sources said.

The DOJ had urged the judge to hold Trump’s team in contempt over failure to fully comply with a May subpoena for documents with classified markings that was directed to Trump’s custodian of records — a person the Trump legal team has not identified.

“The President and his counsel will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of the highly weaponized and corrupt witch-hunt from the Department of ‘Justice,'” Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement.


Trump attorneys had received word in early November from Justice officials who said they believed the former president still had documents in his possession and asking his legal team to ensure that was not the case.


A federal judge in Washington on Friday ended a hearing without acting on a Justice Department request to find representatives of Donald J. Trump’s post-presidential office in contempt of court for failing to comply fully with a subpoena demanding that he return all classified documents he had taken with him when he left office, two people familiar with the matter said.

They said that the judge left it to the Justice Department and Mr. Trump’s team to resolve the department’s concerns about whether the former president might have more classified documents at his properties after more than a year of efforts by the federal government to retrieve them.


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