A federal judge has ordered an independent review of material seized at former US President Donald Trump’s Florida home.
The FBI recovered more than 11,000 government documents and photographs at Donald Trump’s Florida house. (Photo: Reuters)
A US judge on Monday granted Donald Trump’s request for the appointment of a “special master” to independently review material seized in an FBI raid on his Florida home, dealing a blow to prosecutors.
Prosecutors had opposed Trump’s request, arguing that the appointment of a special master to screen for material covered by attorney-client privilege could harm national security, and was also unnecessary as a government team had already completed a screening.
“A special master shall be appointed to review the seized property, manage assertions of privilege and make recommendations thereon, and evaluate claims for return of property,” Judge Aileen Cannon wrote in her order, which was seen as a boost for Trump in his legal battle.
Cannon’s order made an exception for review and use of the materials for “intelligence classification and national security assessments.”
The judge gave both sides until Friday to come up with a list of candidates for the role of special master.
The Justice Department has said in court filings that highly classified government documents, including some marked “Top Secret,” were discovered in Trump’s personal office during the raid.
A detailed list of what was seized also showed Trump held on to more than 11,000 unclassified government records that he claims are his to keep — but legally are owned by the National Archives.
“The Government is temporarily enjoined from further review and use of any of the materials seized from Plaintiff’s residence on August 8, 2022, for criminal investigative purposes pending resolution of the special master’s review process as determined by this Court,” the order said.
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