Former President Donald Trump has enlisted Chris Kise, a former Florida solicitor general who served on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s transition team, to serve on his legal team as the Department of Justice investigates why sensitive government documents were stored at the ex-president’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
Mr. Kise is joining Mr. Trump’s legal team as the investigation heats up. The former president has struggled to get experienced lawyers onto his team and a recent legal filing seeking a “special master” to review documents seized from Mr. Trump was panned as faulty.
Mr. Kise, who developed a reputation as a skilled litigator and political operator for Mr. DeSantis, will join attorneys Jim Trusty, Evan Corcoran, Boris Epshteyn and Christina Bobb on Mr. Trump’s legal team.
NBC News, which first reported the hire, said Mr. Kise is leaving his existing law firm to take the job and his first appearance on behalf of Mr. Trump could be Thursday as a judge considers the special-master request.
Mr. Trump is building his legal team as prosecutors consider whether he violated the Espionage Act or committed offenses such as obstruction.
Investigators say they became suspicious when some of the boxes returned to the National Archives and Records Administration had top secret markings, raising concerns there were more documents at the estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and that Mr. Trump’s team hadn’t been forthcoming with investigators.
Some of the returned documents, according to a heavily-redacted affidavit for the search warrant, were marked “HCS,” a category of highly-classified government information, others related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which monitors threats from foreign agents, and other material that could be used “to the injury of the United States.”