Trump documents: Judge grants request for ‘special master’ to review materials seized from Mar-a-Lago

The decision by Trump-appointed district judge Eileen Cannon is an important victory for the former president.

“As a function of the plaintiff’s previous status as President of the United States, the stigma associated with the seizure of the subject is in a league of its own,” Cannon wrote. It would clearly result in an order of magnitude different reputational damage.”

Cannon has ordered third-party attorneys outside the government to be brought in to review materials taken from Trump’s home and resort in Florida. It also halted the Department of Justice’s continued investigation of materials seized from Mar-a-Lago and “awaits the completion of a special master investigation or further court order.”

Both sides must nominate special master candidates and their specific duties by Friday.

Trump’s attorneys argued they needed a special master because they don’t trust the Justice Department to fairly identify classified materials that need to be excluded from ongoing criminal investigations.

Federal prosecutors are likely to appeal the decision.

The Department of Justice said its own “filter team” had already finished reviewing the Mar-a-Lago documents and found a small set of attorney and client privilege records.

The judge said the special master would be tasked with reviewing “seized personal items and documents and potentially privileged materials subject to attorney client and/or executive privilege claims.”

However, classification reviews and intelligence assessments being conducted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are permitted to continue.

FBI got Trump medical and tax information in investigation, judge says

The Justice Department also obtained medical documents from “tax-related correspondents” during the search, according to a privileged team report that remained sealed, Cannon explained Monday.

Cannon said a Justice Department attorney admitted to the seizure.[p]”Personal Possessions of No Evidence Value” and 500 pages of material that may be subject to attorney-client privilege.

She wrote that Trump’s “personal interest and need for seized property” was one of the reasons for the ruling upholding Trump’s special ownership request.

Cannon also said the privileged review team’s report outlined “at least two instances in which members of the investigative team were exposed to material and subsequently handed over to the privileged review team.”

“Even if completely inadvertent, these instances alone raise questions about the validity of the filter,” she wrote.

Friday Deadline for Trump and Justice Department to Propose Special Masters Candidates

Cannon set a Friday deadline for Trump’s attorneys and Justice Department prosecutors to negotiate the “duties and limitations” of the special master and submit a list of potential candidates to fill the role.

She also hopes that both sides will propose a schedule for the special master’s review and detail how that person will be compensated for their work.

Fox's William Barr said there was no good reason the classified documents were in Mar-a-Lago and doubted Trump was declassified.

“The exact details and mechanics of this review process will be determined quickly following proposals from both parties,” Cannon wrote.

If the parties do not agree on the parameters of the soon-to-be-appointed special master, the parties must explain their differences in court filings.

This story is broken and will be updated.

Source: www.cnn.com

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