Sep 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump doesn't have to attest to accuracy of FBI's inventory list, Judge Cannon says

Former President Trump’s residence in Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida on August 9, 2022.

Former President Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 9. Photo: Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon ruled Thursday that former President Trump no longer has to submit a sworn statement about the accuracy of the FBI's inventory on items seized from Mar-a-Lago, as the deadline to do so from the special master loomed.

Why it matters: Cannon sided with Trump's legal team, which objected to special master Raymond Dearie's request he back up his claims, at least until he has had a chance to review the records. Trump has claimed, without evidence, that the FBI planted evidence at the property during the August search.

Driving the news: In the same filing, Cannon, a Trump appointee who sits on the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida, also pushed back the deadline for the completion of the special master's review of the documents from Nov. 30 to Dec. 16.

  • She ruled that Trump does not have to make claims about which types of executive privilege he wants to assert over which documents on a rolling basis, as Dearie had required.
  • Instead, he can wait and file "one comprehensive annotated copy" after the midterm elections, indicating whether each document should be covered by attorney-client privilege, attorney work product privilege, executive privilege or is personal record.

How we got here: On Wednesday, Trump's lawyers wrote to Dearie objecting to his request to address whether they disputed the accuracy of the FBI's list of documents.

The bottom line: Cannon's most recent ruling effectively overrules Dearie's challenge for Trump to "put up or shut up" regarding some of the public statements he's made.

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