The Justice Department is talking back to the Florida District Judge who indicated a “preliminary intent” to appoint a Special Master to go through the documents that the FBI seized from President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago. The raid months before the mid-term election stunk of political calculations.
The DOJ said they would provide more information in a separate filing but said that prior to the court issuing a preliminary order to appoint a special master to go through the documents, a privilege review team went through the documents. A special master is an independent, court-appointed individual who in this case would be placed in charge of reviewing documents. A privilege review team consists of federal personnel not involved with the investigation itself, whose role is to sift out privileged information.
“[T]he 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. Those procedures included asking the court to make a determination on potentially privileged material, asking Trump’s team if they are asserting privilege, or acting on its own and keeping the material away from investigators.
The DOJ also said that they and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence “are currently facilitating a classification review of materials recovered pursuant to the search,” and that “ODNI is also leading an intelligence community assessment of the potential risk to national security that would result from the disclosure of these materials.”The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at the federal courthouse in West Palm Beach, Fla. Cannon ordered the Justice Department to provide, under seal, a “more detailed Receipt for Property specifying all property seized pursuant to the search warrant executed on August 8, 2022.”
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While the country awaits answers, the Justice Department is still fighting back and not providing the transparency into the raid at Mar-a-Lago that is so desperately needed.