Sep 6, 2022

In Major Victory for Trump, Judge Grants Special Master in Mar-a-Lago Case

A Florida judge ruled in favor of Trump’s request, citing the need to promote “fairness” in the review of the thousands of documents seized by the FBI.
In Major Victory for Trump, Judge Grants Special Master in Mar-a-Lago Case
Photo of documents seized during the August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago by the FBI.

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Background: Former President Donald Trump’s legal team wanted an independent arbiter, or a “special master,” to review the thousands of records seized by the FBI in the Mar-a-Lago raid. A federal judge in Florida ruled in favor of Trump’s request, citing the need to promote “fairness.”

Why Trump wanted the special master: According to the Trump team, some of the documents are off-limits to federal prosecutors because of either lawyer-client privilege or executive privilege (the president’s ability to communicate freely with close advisers). A special master would be required to identify those off-limit documents and disqualify them from evidence.

From the left: The New York Times stated that the judge's decision was a “deeply problematic” intervention into a national security investigation, stalling the criminal investigation into Trump. It also argued that there was no basis to have a special master screen materials for executive privilege.

Plus, new information about the documents: Less than one percent of the seized material—11,179 government documents—was confidential. Dozens of the folders marked classified were also empty.

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