On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered that former President Donald Trump must provide further evidence as he attempts to reobtain materials seized by the FBI in the raid on Mar-a-Lago.
On Monday, the former president filed a motion in which he asked the court to appoint an independent party to separate privileged items from the collection of confiscated items from the raid, to order the government to grant a detailed inventory list of the items taken, and to have any items outside the jurisdiction of the search warrant returned.
The filing particularly noted concerns raised about violations of Trump’s constitutional rights, particularly his Fourth Amendment rights that protect against unreasonable search and seizure. It argued that a special master, typically a retired judge, should be appointed to the case as a means to ensure the government did not receive privileged materials. The filing also claims that, due to the Department of Justice and the FBI’s treatment of Trump in the past, the departments cannot be trusted to properly handle the items.
“We need an impartial—that means not Republican, not Democrat—impartial special master to go in there, take a look at what they seized, give back to the former president what is rightfully his, things that are clearly declassified, things that are also privileged—attorney-client privilege from when he was in the White House—things that should have never been seized,” Alina Habba, a Trump lawyer, said on Fox News.
U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon said on Tuesday that she received the motion, but that another filing was necessary that elaborated on the case.
“To facilitate appropriate resolution, on or before August 26, 2022, Plaintiff shall file a supplement to the Motion further elaborating on the following: (1) the asserted basis for the exercise of this Court’s jurisdiction, whether legal, equitable/anomalous, or both; (2) the framework applicable to the exercise of such jurisdiction; (3) the precise relief sought, including any request for injunctive relief pending resolution of the Motion; (4) the effect, if any, of the proceeding before Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart; and (5) the status of Plaintiff’s efforts to perfect service on Defendant,” Cannon, a Trump appointee, said in an order.
Reinhart was the judge who approved the search warrant on August 5, three days before its execution on August 8 at Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Reinhart was, notably, a donor to the campaigns of former President Barack Obama and to the establishment opponents of Donald J. Trump during the 2016 election, including Jeb Bush.
Cannon received an assignment to the motion, but Reinhart “is available to handle any or all proceedings in this case,” a clerk notified Trump’s lawyers and U.S. officials. Cannon continues to handle the case at present.
“The Aug. 8 search warrant at Mar-a-Lago was authorized by a federal court upon the required finding of probable cause,” a spokesman for the Department of Justice told news outlets in a statement. “The Department is aware of this evening’s motion. The United States will file its response in court.”
No response has yet been officially lodged by US officials.
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