Former President Donald Trump’s legal team argued Wednesday that a “special master” should be appointed to review documents taken in the Mar-a-Lago raid. It also accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) of disregarding Trump’s rights.
Wednesday’s court filing is the latest in a back-and-forth between Trump and the DOJ in the wake of the FBI’s August 8 search of the former president’s Florida home. The DOJ argued Tuesday against having a “Special Master” appointed and accused Trump of trying to obstruct its investigation into the possible mishandling of government documents.
Trump lawyers — Lindsey Halligan, James Trusty and Evan Corcoran — highlighted news from earlier in the week that revealed the DOJ has already reviewed documents taken in the raid. The team argued that “there is no guarantee” that the “limited set” of materials the DOJ identified as potentially privileged are the only such ones that were taken from Trump’s home.
“There is no guarantee that the ‘limited set’ of potentially privileged materials identified by the Privilege Review Team constitutes all privileged materials among the Seized Materials,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.
Halligan, Trusty and Corcoran also suggested that the DOJ might “impugn, leak, and publicize selective aspects of their investigation” if “left unchecked.” (RELATED: REPORT: FBI Was After Documents Trump Believed Would ‘Exonerate’ Him From Russia Conspiracy)
“While DOJ may have succeeded in taking a partial filter to their rummaged proceeds, the need for a Special Master remains in place. Assuring access by Movant’s counsel to the seized materials, sharing an actual (detailed) inventory, making independent attorney-client privilege assessments, and making executive privilege determinations are all responsibilities that are best served by appointment of a Special Master,” Trump’s team wrote.
The Wednesday court filing didn’t address the issue of declassification. The DOJ said Tuesday that Trump and his lawyers never discussed the phrase prior to the FBI raid. The latest court filing also doesn’t address the DOJ’s accusation of obstruction of justice.
U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon is expected to announce whether a “special master” will be appointed Thursday, according to NPR.