Trump-related contempt hearing ends without public announcement


A federal judge declined to hold former President Donald Trump in contempt of court during a closed-door hearing on Friday, two people familiar with the matter told CNN.

Sources also told CNN that Chief Judge Beryl Howell instead urged the Trump team and the Justice Department to work together to find a mutually agreeable solution.

ABC News first reported that the judge urged the teams to resolve the matter themselves.

The contempt proceedings against Trump ended Friday afternoon after nearly 90 minutes behind closed doors in a Washington, D.C., courtroom.

CNN observed prosecutors, including the Justice Department’s counterintelligence chief Jay Blatter, and Trump’s attorneys leave the courthouse just before 3:30 p.m. ET. The two legal teams gathered in the area of ​​Howell’s room as Howell prepared to consider whether to hold Trump in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena ordering him to turn over classified records, according to CNN.

No results were announced publicly.

When asked for comment, Trump spokesman Yuxuan Zhang issued the same statement Thursday, saying the former president and his lawyers “will continue to be transparent and cooperative, even in the face of highly weaponized and Corrupt Witch Hunt” Justice. ”

A coalition of media organizations, including CNN, had asked Howell to allow the public to attend Friday’s hearing, but the judge denied the request.

Court spokeswoman Lisa Klem acknowledged the closed hearing in a statement Friday but gave no further information about what happened.

“This afternoon, the Court held a hearing on the grand jury’s ongoing and sealed case. The matter remains confidential under Federal Code of Criminal Procedure Section 6(e) and local Criminal Code Section 6.1,” the statement said Say.

After raiding his Mar-a-Lago resort in August, the Justice Department sought to hold Trump and his office in contempt of court for failing to fully comply with the subpoena. Contempt of document subpoenas has been a feature of the former president’s court woes since he left office.

If he was the hero of contempt on Friday, he could have been fined.

The proceedings add to pressure on Trump, who could face criminal responsibility in the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation by special counsel Jack Smith. It also adds a new chapter to the ongoing battle by federal officials to recover government records — especially those containing national security secrets — after the Trump administration ends.

Prosecutors went to court to enforce the grand jury subpoena after the Justice Department issued a subpoena to Trump in May for documents marked classified. The judge ordered Trump’s team to comply. That prompted a search by Trump’s lawyers last month that turned up two more classified-marked documents.

But CNN previously reported that the Justice Department remained dissatisfied with the search and Trump’s failure to assert that all documents had been handed over.

This title and story have been updated with more developments.

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