Bracewell’s Seth DuCharme spoke to Bloomberg about the delicate balance in disclosing information about the files taken from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate following an Aug. 8 search.
“You don’t want people to be confused or surprised or suspicious of the way the government acts,” said DuCharme. “There’s always a tension between the government’s interest and, ultimately, the public’s interest when it comes to disclosing information about an investigation.”
The intensive operation by the Justice Department, its Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to determine if criminal laws were broken or national security was damaged will be a delicate dance between law enforcement and intelligence interests. Some items removed from former President Trump’s Florida estate are classified as top secret, meaning their public release may jeopardize US interests. But if a prosecution goes forward, the documents may have to be revealed.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has avoided speaking publicly about the FBI’s search. But he did send bureau employees a memo Aug. 11 saying that he was concerned about the criticisms and extolled their courage and sacrifices.
Ultimately, administration officials have to “ignore the noise outside the building,” follow the policies and evidence and make decisions in the interest of justice and US national security, consistent with the law, added DuCharme.
“People will criticize the Justice Department no matter what they do,” DuCharme said. “This isn’t a spectator sport.”