Aug 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge asks Trump to clarify what he wants from Mar-a-Lago lawsuit

Photo of Donald Trump speaking from a podium and raising his right finger

Former President Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Aug. 6 in Dallas. Photo: Brandon Bell via Getty Images

A federal judge in Florida has asked former President Trump to clarify what precisely he's seeking after he filed a lawsuit aimed at limiting the Justice Department's review of records seized from Mar-a-Lago.

Driving the news: The brief order from U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, asks Trump to answer by Friday questions including why the court has jurisdiction over the dispute and what "precise relief" he seeks.

  • Cannon's questions appear to align with criticism from some legal observers who say the suit is convoluted and fails to ask substantial legal questions, Politico notes.

The big picture: Trump filed the lawsuit Monday to seek the appointment of a special master who would review the materials seized during the FBI's search, which revealed that Trump had taken classified material from the White House to Mar-a-Lago.

  • He also asked the federal court to bar the FBI from examining the documents until a special master is appointed, citing Fourth Amendment rights.
  • A special master, usually a third party like a retired judge, would review the material and determine whether it is protected by attorney-client privilege or other legal doctrines.

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