Updated Aug 28, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge signals support for "special master" review of Trump documents

Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to meet with New York Attorney General Letitia James for a civil investigation on August 10,

Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York on Aug. 10. Photo: James Devaney/GC Images

A federal judge in Florida on Saturday signaled that she would be willing to grant former President Trump's request for the appointment of a "special master" to review the evidence seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago.

Driving the news: Trump filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking the appointment of a special master to review the materials seized from his Mar-a-Lago home and bar the FBI from examining the seized documents until the special master is appointed.

  • 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.

The big picture: In a court filing Saturday, U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, provided notice of her "preliminary intent to appoint a special master in this case."

  • Cannon said a hearing on the appointment of a special master would be held on Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • In advance of the hearing, Cannon set a Tuesday deadline for the Department of Justice to file a public response to Trump's request as well as file under seal a more detailed list of the materials seized from Mar-a-Lago and the status of the review of the materials.
  • Trump's reply to the DOJ would then be due by 8pm Wednesday.
  • Cannon concluded the order by emphasizing that it "should not be construed as a final determination" on the matter.
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