As events continue to develop surrounding the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club home in South Florida, a federal judge has signaled that she might be willing to grant Trump’s request for a “special master” to review the evidence seized by the FBI.
This comes after Trump filed a lawsuit and sought the appointment of a special master to review the materials that were taken from Mar-a-Lago, Axios reported.
A special master, which is usually a third party, such as a retired judge, would review the material from the FBI raid to determine whether it is protected under attorney-client privilege or any other legal doctrines.
Until a special master is appointed, Trump also asked the federal court to bar the FBI from examining the seized evidence, Axios reported.
Along with these requests, Trump asked the court to require the government to provide more details on the inventory of what was taken from Mar-a-Lago in the Aug. 8 raid, as well as return anything that was seized but did not fall into the scope of the search warrant.
“Therefore, we seek judicial assistance in the aftermath of an unprecedented and unnecessary raid on President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.”
In regard to the appointment of a special master, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, appointed by Trump in 2020, scheduled a hearing appointment for a special master for Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida, Axios reported.
Cannon also set a Tuesday deadline for the Department of Justice to file a public response to Trump’s request.
The judge, likewise, set Tuesday as the deadline for the DOJ to also file a more detailed list of what was taken from Mar-a-Lago and the current status of materials taken.
Trump then has a Wednesday deadline to reply to DOJ’s response, CNN reported.
However, though Cannon has scheduled a hearing and deadlines for Trump and the DOJ, she also warned in her order that her comments should not be “construed as a final determination” on the former president’s request for such an overseer.
Cannon’s order also comes just after the DOJ released the heavily redacted affidavit that was used to get a judge to sign off on the search warrant that led to the FBI’s raid at Mar-a-Lago, according to CNN, which published the redacted affidavit on Friday.
The 38-page affidavit outlined that the raid at Mar-a-Lago was warranted because a review from the National Archives and Records Administration revealed that confidential, presidential documents that Trump had during his time in office had been taken to Mar-a-Lago when Trump left the White House, in potential violation of the Presidential Records Act.
The affidavit did reveal that out of the 184 classified documents turned over from Trump’s Florida earlier, 25 were marked “top secret,” another 92 were labeled “secret” and 67 were “confidential.”
However, when the affidavit was released, Trump’s legal team argued that it raised “more questions than answers,” CNN reported.
“The Redacted Affidavit underscores why this Motion should be granted, as it provides almost no information that would allow Movant to understand why the raid took place, or what was taken from his home,” Trump’s supplemental filing stated.
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