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Judge Approves Trump’s Request For Special Master To Review Documents From FBI Raid

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On Monday, a federal judge approved former President Donald Trump’s request to appoint an independent arbiter to oversee the FBI’s audit of materials seized in an August raid on Mar-a-Lago.

The judge, Aileen Cannon of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida, approved Trump’s request after the former president’s attorneys and a legal team from the Department of Justice met to discuss the matter in court last week. Cannon also temporarily barred the Department of Justice from using the seized materials for any “investigative purpose” related to its investigation of Trump until the work of the arbiter, known as a special master, was completed.

“Pursuant to the Court’s equitable jurisdiction and inherent supervisory authority, and mindful of the need to ensure at least the appearance of fairness and integrity under the extraordinary circumstances presented, Plaintiff’s Motion [ECF No. 1] is GRANTED IN PART,” Cannon wrote in her order. “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.”

Cannon’s decision comes after the Department of Justice admitted in a court filing last week that they had seized materials that may contain “attorney-client privileged information” during the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Florida home.

“Although the government will provide the Court more detail in its forthcoming supplemental filing, the government notes that, before the Court issued its Preliminary Order, and in accordance with the judicially authorized search warrant’s provisions, the [FBI] Privilege Review Team … identified a limited set of materials that potentially contain attorney-client privileged information, completed its review of those materials, and is in the process of following the procedures set forth in paragraph 84 of the search warrant affidavit to address potential privilege disputes, if any,” the DOJ filing said.

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