The DOJ is having such a hard time finding document-digitization vendors willing to work with Trump that it requested more time for the special-master review

Raymond Dearie
The special master Raymond Dearie.Reuters
  • The special master will have to wait a little longer to get his hands on files lugged to Mar-a-Lago.

  • None of the five vendors the DOJ suggested to scan docs wanted to work with Trump, per a new filing.

  • The DOJ asked for one more day to choose someone to digitize 11,000 files for the special master.

A special master set to review tens of thousands of government documents in the Justice Department's investigation into former President Donald Trump's handling of them may have to wait a bit longer, as several middlemen have blown off Trump.

According to court documents filed Tuesday, the department asked the special master Raymond Dearie for an additional day to turn over nonclassified documents in the investigation. Federal prosecutors said they needed until Wednesday because none of the five vendors they suggested to digitize the cache of documents "were willing to be engaged by Plaintiff."

"Plaintiff informed us this morning that none of the five document-review vendors proposed by the government before last Tuesday's preliminary conference were willing to be engaged by Plaintiff," Justice Department lawyers said in the filing. "To avoid further delay in the vendor's scanning and processing of the Seized Materials (defined to exclude 'documents bearing classification markings'), the government issued a request for a task order this afternoon with a deadline of tomorrow (Wednesday, September 28, 2022) at noon."

Prosecutors said they'd be willing to engage the vendors, adding: "The government is highly confident at least one vendor will respond."

They added that Trump should be expected to pay for the process and they estimated that between the selection of a vendor and scanning of the files, the turnover could be concluded by October 7.

Recently, Dearie appointed an aide whom Trump is set to pay $500 an hour and has asked the Trump team to provide proof that the FBI planted evidence during its search of Mar-a-Lago, which Trump has claimed. In its latest filing, the Justice Department also prodded Trump's team to submit an inventory list of the materials seized by the FBI.

"The Special Master needs to know that that he is reviewing all of the materials seized from Mar- a-Lago on August 8, 2022 — and no additional materials — before he categorizes the seized documents and adjudicates privilege claims," prosecutors said.

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