In a significant win for former President Donald Trump, a federal judge has approved his legal team’s request for the appointment of a special master to oversee the FBI’s handling of materials seized during the Aug. 8 raid on his home, Mar-a-Lago.
The decision comes amid fierce opposition from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon announced her decision on Monday morning after postponing a decision twice last week. The decision was delayed due to the DOJ filing supplemental paperwork and Trump’s attorneys arguing their case in court last Thursday.
Cannon’s decision follows her release of a more detailed list of materials confiscated by the FBI. Trump’s legal team has complained that Judge Bruce Reinhart’s release of information was overly redacted.
On Aug. 8, the FBI executed an unprecedented and broad search of Trump’s home. The White House denies knowing about the raid in advance. However, Attorney General Merrick Garland personally approved the raid and the White House had spoken with the National Archives agency and FBI about seizing the documents.
Trump maintains that the raid was unwarranted and illegal, noting in multiple posts on his Truth Social platform that he was complying with requests from the National Archives agency, had declassified documents prior to leaving the White House and that the FBI staged evidence in photos the bureau released to the public.
In her ruling, Cannon noted that the case’s unusual nature partly contributed to her decision to approve the appointment of a special master. The ruling reads:
Pursuant to the Court’s equitable jurisdiction and inherent supervisory authority, and mindful of the need to ensure at least the appearance of fairness and integrity under the extraordinary circumstances presented, Plaintiff’s Motion [ECF No. 1] is GRANTED IN PART.
The Court hereby authorizes the appointment of a special master to review the seized property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege.
The Daily Wire noted that “Cannon’s order also temporarily stops the FBI’s criminal investigation into the materials seized from Trump,” a move the bureau strongly resisted. The FBI argued that their filter team had already reviewed their documents and the investigation must move forward.
Trump’s legal team asserts that a special master was needed to protect Trump’s interests and the interests of all Americans who are protected by the Fourth Amendment against unlawful search and seizures.
Last Thursday, Cannon indicated she would unseal a more detailed list of the materials taken by the FBI. The eight-page document, released Friday, provided a fuller picture of what agents took from Mar-a-Lago, though the inventory list is far from complete.
According to the inventory list released last Friday, agents removed “classified documents and records and more mundane objects such as “clothing/gift” items, books, and printouts of news articles,” according to The Daily Wire.
Trump is pushing for complete transparency and for the “witch hunt” to come to an end. He wrote on his Truth Social platform:
“My rights, together with the rights of all Americans, have been violated at a level rarely seen before in our Country. Remember, they even spied on my campaign. The greatest Witch Hunt in USA history has been going on for six years, with no consequences to the scammers. It should not be allowed to continue!”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.