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US judge grants Trump request to appoint special master to review FBI-seized docs

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Sep 06, 2022 - 02:15 AM

HOUSTON, Texas (AA) – A federal judge on Monday granted Donald Trump’s request to appoint a special master to review documents seized at the former president’s Mar-a-Lago home in the US state of Florida on Aug. 8.

“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,” said US District Judge Aileen Cannon in a ruling.

“Furthermore, in natural conjunction with that appointment, and consistent with the value and sequence of special master procedures, the Court also temporarily enjoins the Government from reviewing and using the seized materials for investigative purposes pending completion of the special master’s review or further Court order,” said the ruling.

The FBI seized 15 boxes of classified documents during the bureau’s Aug. 8 raid at Trump’s Florida resort, in addition to other official government records.

The search of Trump’s Florida home was conducted in response to information that the former president may have violated several federal laws including gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, concealment, removal or mutilation, and destruction, alteration or falsification of records in Federal investigations.

The ruling goes on to say that 11,000 documents and 1,800 other items were taken from the office and storage room of Trump’s residence, totaling 27 boxes “with and without classification markings, along with photographs, other documents, and miscellaneous material.”

The judge’s ruling on the special master took into account everything that was seized in the raid.

“NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) subsequently informed the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) of the contents of the boxes, claiming that some items contained markings of ‘classified national security information,’” it said.

“The Government applied… for a search and seizure warrant of Plaintiff’s residence… finding probable cause for each offense, the Magistrate Judge authorized law enforcement to search Plaintiff’s office, ‘all storage rooms, and all other rooms or areas within the premises used or available to be used by [Plaintiff] and his staff and in which boxes or documents could be stored.'”

In his first public appearance since the raid, Trump once again slammed the raid on his Florida home as a “travesty of justice,” saying it was an “egregious abuse of the law”.

“There can be no more vivid example of the very real threats from American freedom than just a few weeks ago, you saw, when we witnessed one of the most shocking abuses of power by any administration in American history,” said Trump.

“A shameful raid and break-in of my home in Mar-a-Lago was a travesty of justice that made a mockery of America’s laws, traditions, and principles before the entire world,” the former president added.

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