October 4, 2022
Judge approves special master for documents

Documents Seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago

Source: Department of Justice

a federal judge Approval for appointment of Special Master on Monday In a raid last month by the FBI to review records seized from the Florida residence of former President Donald Trump, a move that was sought by his lawyers.

Judge Eileen Cannon at the same time temporarily barred the Justice Department from reviewing or using the confiscated material for investigative purposes until the Special Master Examination of the documents was completed, or until another court order. .

That independent third party will “investigate confiscated property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege,” Cannon said in his U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. was written in the order.

Cannon said his order would not hinder an ongoing review of classified documents found at Trump’s residence and an assessment of any potential damage to US intelligence by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The DOJ is conducting a criminal investigation into the removal of government records from the White House to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach after leaving office in January 2021. By law, such records should have been given to the National Archives and Records at the end of Trump’s administration.

The judge, who was appointed by Trump, nodded in his decision to the fact that the August 8 raid at Mar-a-Lago was the first time law enforcement officers had ever considered a former president’s residence as part of a criminal. as searched. check that person

As Trump’s lawyers argued in a court hearing last week, Cannon wrote, “The investigation and treatment of a former president is of unparalleled interest to the general public, and the country is best served by an orderly
process that fosters interest and perception of fairness.”

Cannon ordered the DOJ and Trump’s attorneys to jointly submit a list of proposed Special Master candidates by Friday. He also told them what they believed should be the duties and limitations of the particular master, as well as the compensation of the sentinel.

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Trump called for the appointment of a special master weeks after the raid, during which FBI agents found more than 10,000 government documents, more than 100 of which were classified or highly classified.

FBI agents also found four dozen empty document folders marked “classified” during the raid, 43 or more that were found in Trump’s office. The remaining five empty folders with that marking were found in containers in a storage room.

The FBI also found another 42 empty folders marked “Return to Staff Secretary/Military” [sic] Allies,” during the raid.

The DOJ had opposed the appointment of that watchdog, arguing that Trump had no authority to keep records, and that a special master review would delay its ongoing criminal investigation.

But Canon said in his order that he does not believe a review by the Special Master “would cause undue delay under the current circumstances.”

A spokesman for the DOJ and Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cannon’s order.

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