Justice Department officials on Tuesday argued against appointing a special master to review documents taken from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
The DOJ said in court filings that Trump’s request to appoint a special master to the case would be “unnecessary” and “would significantly harm important governmental interests, including national security interests.”
“The legal issues presented, and the relief requested in the filings, are narrow, notwithstanding the wide-ranging meritless accusations leveled against the government in the motion,” DOJ officials said. “Not only does Plaintiff lack standing to raise these claims at this juncture, but even if his claims were properly raised, Plaintiff would not be entitled to the relief he seeks.”
Nearly two weeks ago, Trump’s legal team asked US District Judge Aileen Cannon to grant their request to appoint a special master.
“Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes,” his legal team said. “Therefore, we seek judicial assistance in the aftermath of an unprecedented and unnecessary raid on President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago.”
Judge Cannon, who was appointed by Trump in 2020, on Saturday said that she was inclined to grant the request but added that this was not her “final determination.” However, the Justice Department said that a “privilege review team” had already been appointed to examine the documents.
FBI agents seized a total of 15 boxes in their August 8 search of Mar-a-Lago, many of which they said contained classified or sensitive information – though, Trump’s legal team has disputed this, claiming that all documents were de-classified before being brought to Mar-a-Lago.
The DOJ’s review team said that “a limited set of materials” taken from Mar-a-Lago had contained “potentially” attorney-client privileged information and that the review team had already “completed its review of those materials.”
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