Donald Trump-appointed district judge Aileen Cannon has granted his request for a “special master” to review the documents that were recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during its raid on the former’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Cannon, in her judgement, wrote that considering the Plaintiff was the President of the United States, “the stigma associated with the subject seizure is in a league of its own”. She also pointed out that “A future indictment, based to any degree on property that ought to be returned, would result in reputational harm of a decidedly different order of magnitude.”
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Cannon has asked for a third-party attorney (not working for the US government) to review the documents. She also disallowed the Department of Justice from reviewing the documents until the special master’s review is completed or the Court gives any new instructions.
She also explained the duties of the special master in her order, saying that the individual will have to review “seized property for personal items and documents and potentially privileged material subject to claims of attorney-client and/or executive privilege.”
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The FBI had raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate on August 8, 2022 and discovered a number of documents pertaining to US national security. The search was warranted after the National Archives and Records Administration sent a criminal referral to the US Attorney General, Merrick Garland, saying that Trump had not returned all documents to the US government after his term was over.
A total of 103 classified documents were seized during the raid, of which many were marked “secret” and “top secret”. Trump, while criticizing the raid during a campaign rally in Philadelphia, had accused the FBI and the Department of Justice of being “vicious monsters” that are being controlled by “radical leftist scoundrels”. He also went on to refer to the raid as “one of the most shocking abuses of power by any administration in American history”.