BREAKING – The Department of Justice JUST RELEASED a more detailed inventory of the documents found at Mar-a-Lago.
New: The inventory list of materials seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago was unsealed, and the first thing that caught my attention was the 43 empty folders with classified banners. pic.twitter.com/TJmR2sAiAW
— Christopher Bouzy (@cbouzy) September 2, 2022
Meanwhile, the judge overseeing Trump’s case has signaled willingness to unseal key documents exposing the reason behind the raid. She’s also informed Trump’s legal team that a special master may be appointed.
Judge Aileen Mercedes Cannon, who is overseeing proceeding over former President Donald Trump’s request for a special master, declared she would unseal an inventory of items the FBI seized from the Mar-a-Lago raid Thursday.
However, Cannon did not immediately rule on Trump’s petition for a special master Thursday after a two-hour hearing, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Following arguments Thursday, Cannon said she would release a written order on a special master, which is a third party typically appointed by the court to determine whether certain sensitive materials are protected by legal privileges and should be withheld from prosecutors. The judge, a Trump appointee, previously announced her “preliminary intent to appoint a special master” to oversee the DOJ’s review of the documents seized during the Aug. 8 search and seizure.
Representatives for Trump filed a motion last week for the appointment of a special master and a court order to block the FBI from reviewing those documents until they undergo a review. Upon Cannon’s request, Trump’s legal team filed a supplemental motion in the matter. The motions were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
On Tuesday night, the Justice Department filed a lengthy rebuttal to Trump’s petition, arguing that the former president “has shown no basis for the Court to grant injunctive relief” and that a special master would “significantly harm important governmental interests, including national security interests.” The filing shed additional light on the documents authorities confiscated during the August raid, including a photo of documents with classified markings.
Documents seized ranged from “CONFIDENTIAL to TOP SECRET information, and certain documents included additional sensitive compartments that signify very limited distribution,” according to the DOJ.
The Justice Department said it already managed to identify a “limited set” of materials that may have privileged attorney-client information among the batch of documents obtained from Trump’s Palm Beach estate. The DOJ’s “Privilege Review Team” has been examining the batch.
Authorities are investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice, according to an unsealed warrant for the August raid. An underlying affidavit said the “government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.” The affidavit also noted there was “probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found.”
Author: Nolan Sheridan