Federal judge announces intent to appoint special master to review documents taken from Trump residence during raid

US District Judge Aileen M. Cannon wrote, "the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case."

Joshua Young North Carolina

A federal judge on Saturday signaled that she will appoint a special master to independently review the documents the FBI took from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate.

According to Fox News, US District Judge Aileen M. Cannon from the Southern District of Florida wrote in her preliminary order, "Pursuant to Rule 53(b) (1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Court’s inherent authority, and without prejudice to the parties’ objections, the Court hereby provides notice of its preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case."

Former President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in the Southern District of Florida on Monday asking that a special master be appointed to determine what materials from the Mar-a-Lago raid can be used against him in the investigation.

Judge Cannon said because of "the exceptional circumstances presented" she was issuing the order and set a hearing for September 1 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Further, she ordered the Justice Department to provide a "more detailed Receipt for Property specifying all property seized pursuant to the search warrant executed on August 8, 2022" and gave them until August 30 to respond.

Cannon also ordered the Department of Justice to file under seal a "particularized notice indicating the status" of its review of the property seized in the raid, "including any filter review conducted by the privilege review team and any dissemination of materials beyond the privilege review team," and that the Justice Department should include in its filings its "respective and particularized positions on the duties and responsibilities of a prospective special master, along with any other considerations pertinent to the appointment of a special master in this case."

Mike Davis on Twitter said it was a "Preliminary win for President Trump in his legal challenge to Biden’s unprecedented, unnecessary, and unlawful home raid" and posted the judge's orders.

Trump claimed that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago residence on August 8. Trump was in New York when over two dozen FBI agents descended upon his Florida property and took several boxes of documents and two passports from his residence.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

Authorities launched the raid due to concerns that Trump violated the federal laws 18 USC 793, or "gathering, transmitting or losing defense information" — a crime that falls under the Espionage Act, 18 USC 2071, or "concealment, removal or mutilation," and 18 USC 1519, or "destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations."

The former president said the documents that the FBI retrieved from the estate had been declassified through a "standing order" of Trump's that let him take classified materials from the White House to his private residence so he could work out of office.

The property receipt provided by federal authorities claims they took roughly 20 boxes that were marked as various top secret (TS) and sensitive compartmented information (SCI) materials. Fox News reports that FBI agents also collected "four sets of top secret documents, three sets of secret documents and three sets of confidential documents" but details on what was obtained were not made public.

The property receipt also detailed how the feds took boxes labeled A-14, A-26, A-43, A-13, A-33 which contained information covered by attorney-client privilege.

On Friday, at the request of Judge Bruce E. Reinhart, who authorized the raid, the FBI released the heavily redacted affidavit that resulted in a search warrant of Trump's property.


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