Ahead of the Department of Justice’s filing that opposed President Trump’s call for a "special master" to review White House documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, seven former federal prosecutors filed an amicus brief asking a Florida federal judge to deny his request.
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, Donald B. Ayer, Gregory A. Brower, John J. Farmer Jr., Stuart M. Gerson, Peter D. Keisler, William F. Weld – who all served in Republican administrations – called Trump’s request a "waste of time."
The motion said the former prosecutors have a "special interest" in the case and "can provide assistance to the court."
"Amici all served in Republican administrations and collectively have decades of experience prosecuting cases involving sensitive materials or advising on matters regarding the proper scope of executive power and executive privilege," the motion said.
The brief said Trump’s request should be denied because the appointment of a special master for a claim of executive privilege by a former president "against the same Executive Branch to which the privilege belongs" is unprecedented.
It added that his request ignores the Presidential Records Act requirement that a challenge from a former president over executive privilege be "brought in the jurisdiction available under the PRA, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia." It said he is seeking relief to which he isn’t entitled by making the request in a court in Florida "that is statutorily precluded from hearing the matter."
Finally, it called Trump’s request a "waste of time because the claim of executive privilege against the Executive Branch in this case is manifestly frivolous."
The DOJ also filed its response to Trump's request Friday, opposing it on the grounds that it is "unnecessary" and would "harm national security interests."
The department said in its filing that classified documents were likely "concealed" at Mar-a-Lago in violation of a grand jury subpoena.
Whitman was the Republican governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001 and served in the George W. Bush administration.